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Elettaria cadamomum is a member of the ginger (Zinziberaceae) family. The name cardamum (sometimes spelled cardomon or cardamum) means "grains of Paradise."
Decortication is a process in which a seed(s) shell or pod is removed. When good quality, fresh cardamom seed is decorticated the 1/8 inch light brown to black seeds initially cling together because of a sticky seed membrane. This membrane eventually dries to a white, flaky chaff-like substance that sticks to the seed or collects at the bottom of the bag. This chaff does not affect the flavor or quality of the seed.