Grains of Paradise is also famous as the Aframomum Melegueta. The plant of this spice belongs to the ginger family, also known as the Zingiberaceae in botany. Grains of Paradise also relate to the cardamom. The Grains of Paradise is widely used as a spice around the world. Both the ground and whole forms of this spice are famous.
The Grains of Paradise are the native plant of West Africa. In those regions, this spice is also referred to by the name of Pepper Coast. Besides, it is also used as a medicine around the world due to its exceptional health benefits. In older days, Grains of Paradise was used as a substitute for black pepper in most regions of Europe. This spice is used in different recipes that include both baked and cooked recipes.
What do Grains of Paradise Look Like?
Grains of Paradise have a high resemblance with peppercorns. That’s why people mostly confuse between both spices. Besides, some people also argue that this spice looks like berries. However, their actual appearance is like dry seeds. Moreover, the plant itself is pretty looking. It has trumpet-shaped flowers that have a purple color. Each flower develops into pods that have a length of around 5 cm to 7 cm. While the flowers also contain plenty of seeds. These seeds have reddish-brown colors. They are the Grains of Paradise. They have an uneven round shape.
Where do Grains of Paradise Come From?
Grains of Paradise come from the plant from the Zingiberaceae family. Stems surround the plant. These stems are short, but their height may vary based on where it is grown. The stems have few signs of scars with numerous dropped leaves. The average size of each leaf is around 35 cm long and 15 cm wide. Besides, the leaves of this plant have a good vascular system structure. The plant has highly aromatic flowers. Its upper portion has pinkish-orange color while the lip is orange-colored. This plant is filled with fruits that contain either small red-brown or golden seeds.
How are Grains of Paradise Made?
Once you grow the plant and reach the harvesting stage, you can now begin making Grains of Paradise. The seeds of this spice are located on the flowers. Therefore, you should gently cut the flowers. However, stay gentle during the process; otherwise, you can lose the seeds. Once you pluck the flowers, you can put them in any container or jar and then pick the seeds. The whole form of Grains of Paradise is ready for use. However, to get a ground form, you should follow few more steps. First, you should take the seeds and then use spice grinders to grind them well. This will provide you the powdered or ground form of this spice.
What Do Grains of Paradise Taste Like?
The taste of Grains of Paradise is a little complex to determine. It fluctuates between the combination of woody, herby, and peppery flavor. It also has subtle heat and a warm taste. Since Grains of Paradise belongs to the ginger family, you will also feel a slight taste of ginger, citrus, nutmeg, cardamom, juniper, and coriander in it.
How are Grains of Paradise Used in Cooking?
Its use in cooking resembles the whole forms of cloves and cardamom. You can use the whole form of this seed in the food as an aromatic agent. But make sure to remove it at the end. Just a few seeds will be enough for great taste and aroma. Don’t add a higher quantity. However, if you are using ground, you can add it with other spices while cooking and releasing flavor.
What Types of Cuisines Use Grains of Paradise?
Grains of Paradise is used in Middle Eastern, Indian, and African cuisines. It is often added to the rice, vegetables, pasta, soup, and almost every dish you count. This spice is also used in apples and other pies to give them a little peppery touch.
What are Grains of Paradise Substitute?
Grains of Paradise have few substitutes too. The list includes ground ginger, black pepper, and cardamom. However, make sure to use the combination of all.
Where to Buy Grains of Paradise?
If you are looking for high-quality Grains of Paradise, then we have it for you. We have selected some best products. They have high quality, affordable price, and great aroma. These products are provided in the following list.
- Iya Foods Grains of Paradise, Alligator Pepper Ground 3 oz Pack
- Grains of Paradise | Guinea Pepper | Peppery Flavored with Citrus Notes | Famous African Spice, Frequently Used to Brew Beer. (3.5 Ounce)
- Frontier Co-op Grains of Paradise Seed Whole, Kosher | 1 lb. Bulk Bag | Aframomum melegueta (Roscoe) K. Schumann