Guinea grains – Ingl., Paradieskörner – Ted., Graines de paradis – Fr, Malagueta – Sp., Кардамон - Russ.
Guinea Grains plant, the Amomum melegueta (“melegueta” or “pepper of Guinea”), belongs to the Zingiberacee family as well as cardamom pods and is a native to Equatorial Guinea. Its pink or yellow flowers look lke orchids. Its fruits contain reddish-brown seeds with white flesh. Ghana is the leading producer.
The seeds of Grains of paradise have a cardamom -like flavor – spicy and bitter, since they are both rich in aromatic ketones.
Grains of paradise were used long ago in Europe to flavor beer and wine as a substitute of black pepper when its price was too high. Today it is mainly used in African ethnic cuisine to flavor vegetables and chicken, and in distillery industry.
Grains of paradise have diuretic and stimulant properties like many other spices, such as marjoram.
Chewing them have a body-warming effect . They are widely used as a remedy in natural medicine, especially in West Africa.
Grains of Paradise must be stored in a cool, ventilated, poorly lit and dry place