Shelled for your convenience, the sweetly aromatic cardamom is the fruit of a tropical plant related to ginger, and one of the world's most expensive spices, after saffron and vanilla. Cardamom is essential to the cuisines of the Middle East and Scandinavia. Cardamom coffee or gahwa is a symbol of Arab hospitality. Cardamom flavors ground meat in Norway and baked goods in Sweden. Cooks all over the world combine cardamom with cloves and cinnamon. Cardamom lends its distinctive flavor to chai tea.