Origin: Guatemala. Cardamom is the world's third most expensive spice after saffron & vanilla. Cardamom pods ripen at different times, thus necessitating hand picking of the pods one by one, slightly before full ripeness. Cardamom's delicate warming quality is due to two different aromatics, both stored in the layer just below the seed surface. Slightly bruising the pods in a mortar & pestle before using them helps to release these flavours.