Cardamom: an amazingly delicious spice that too many people are unaware of.
If you are one of those people, you may have had it in chai without knowing. In fact, I have a recipe for Chai Snickerdoodles coming up that puts such a lovely, refreshing new twist on a classic.
I’ve been familiar with chai for much longer than I’ve been familiar with cardamom, itself. I often wanted to get some cardamom goodness in the form of gelato, but every time I go, my local gelato joint doesn’t have it in stock. At the grocery store, it’s a whopping $15 for a regular-sized spice jar of it. There’s no way I can justify that!
Finally, last Saturday while dining out at Tapas Teatro in Baltimore, I got the hit of cardamom that has eluded me. On the dessert menu was cardamom ice cream. It turned out to be vanilla bean ice cream with ground cardamom sprinkled on top. That was slightly disappointing to see, but after one bite, I was in heaven. This. Was. Delicious.
This is a childhood favorite. Unbeknownst to me, I took my Italian grandmother’s biscotti for granted as a child. She made it often, and it was delicious! Later in life however, she no longer lived nearby, and she was no longer healthy enough to be slaving in the kitchen.
Store-bought biscotti is just awful in comparison, by the way.
I enjoy cooking, of course, but I’ve never been that interested in baking. I like to improvise as I go along, after all, and baking has little room for doing so. However, I recently was lucky enough to obtain a KitchenAid stand mixer, so I decided to bite the bullet and get my hands dirty.
I didn’t even have to think about what I wanted to make first: my grandmother’s biscotti, no doubt about it. I was driven to accomplish this task, no matter the sacrifice. Even if I had to fly to Florida and sift through everything in my grandmother’s residence to find the recipe, spend days in the kitchen covered in flour from head to toe with nothing but failures in the oven to show for it, mark my words I would prevail.
In reality, I texted my nearby aunt in case she had the recipe, and she texted me back with a picture of it. Looking over the recipe, it seemed like some simple baking. So that was easy. Onward and upward to the kitchen, now.