Webb James

Guinea Grains

(Amomum melegueta)

Guinea grains – Ingl., Paradieskörner – Ted., Graines de paradis – Fr, Malagueta – Sp., Кардамон - Russ.

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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.

Food Composition

The seeds of Grains of paradise have a cardamom -like  flavor – spicy and bitter, since they are both rich in aromatic ketones.

Culinary Use

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.

Healing Effect

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

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