Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fard Cardamom Sugar Plum

Fard Cardamom Sugar PlumWhile preparing for Thanksgiving I went to a grocery store near my home that I’d never visited. It’s called Golden Farms and it’s in Glendale which has a huge Armenian population (the third largest community in the world outside of Armenia). Golden Farms caters directly to this group, which makes up more than 25% of the population of the area. They have all sorts of fun things that I enjoy like dried fruits, nuts, interesting produce, fruit preserves and of course candy.

The candy that caught my eye, that I couldn’t wait until my next visit to purchase, was this Fard Cardamom Sugar Plum. I’ve already tried Fard’s Persian Nougat, which I liked quite a bit, so I felt confident about the brand even though the packaging is pretty plain. Fard’s website also calls this candy Abnabat and it comes in Lemon and Ginger varieties as well.

The ingredients are simple: sugar, citric acid and cardamom. Most hard candies also use corn syrup, which is pure glucose while sugar is sucrose. Pure sucrose candies tend to be sweeter, as glucose does not have the same mouth feel or sweetness level as sucrose.

Cardamom Candy

The pieces are beautiful. They’re obviously hand formed, just scored and broken into little domed nuggets. They look like amber with little seeds trapped inside.

After opening the package, I was certain I made the right choice to buy it - it smells just like cardamom pods freshly crushed in a mortal and pestle. I’m a huge fan of cardamom and loved seeing the little seeds in the candy, I put it in a lot of things like chocolate pudding, bread pudding, jam and plain rice. It’s especially good for candy and I’ve always wanted a candy that was just cardamom flavored.

Cardamom Candy

The pieces fit in the mouth well, though the irregular edges were tempting to nibble on to take off the sharpness. The dissolve is smooth and slow with a pleasant pure sugar flavor that’s just lightly toasted, kind of like Barley Sugar. There were no voids, just dense sugar and the seeds. The cardamom flavor is loud and impressive - it’s a nice mix of earthy root notes, eucalyptus and pine resin. The intensity of the flavor varied, depending on how much cardamom was in an actual piece. A few had no seeds, though still plenty of flavor. Others were just chocked full. I’m a cruncher, so candies that had a lot were a little harder for me to eat, because I wanted some cardamom and didn’t mind eating a few seeds. The seeds have a much stronger flavor and can be a little bit slippery. With pieces with a lot of seeds I usually ended up fishing the seeds out of my mouth as the candy dissolved.

The candy is refreshing and is probably great with tea or after a meal. I tended to eat it as a treat while working or just watching TV. This is something that I will probably buy again, especially if I’m going to be traveling and I imagine it will be great for my tummy on boats (cardamom is related to ginger). It’s a little rustic and of course not individually wrapped, so not appropriate for all situations.

It’s marked Kosher (Pareve) so it may also qualify as vegan, but email the company to be sure.

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Name: Cardamom Sugar Plum
Brand: Fard Company
Place Purchased: Golden Farms (Glendale)
Price: $2.99
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Fard, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Kosher, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:56 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyFardHard Candy & LollipopsKosher8-TastyUnited States

  1. Hi Cybele,
    This is a long overdue thanks for maintaining this great resource.  I really appreciated today’s post on Armenian cardamom candy.
    Best wishes,

    Comment by Liz Tagami on 12/16/10 at 6:35 pm #
  2. This sounds great!  But kosher pareve doesn’t have anything to do with gluten content; pareve just means that the item contains no dairy (or meat) ingredients.  Breads, cakes, and other foods containing gluten can also designated as pareve.

    Comment by Leah on 12/16/10 at 8:01 pm #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Leah - doh! I meant vegan ... I don’t know where my head was. I was also thinking about Kosher for Passover though, because of the no corn syrup thing but that’s completely unrelated. I don’t think that this would be gluten free because I know they use wheat flour elsewhere in their facility.

    Liz - thank you so much for the kind words.

    Comment by Cybele on 12/16/10 at 8:12 pm #
  4. Sounds like a very interesting candy. Something I think I’d enjoy while writing.

    Caught a typo “crushed in a mortal and pestle”.

    Comment by Scott Roche on 12/17/10 at 6:12 am #
  5. Honestly, those candies don’t look so appetizing. But, considering how you describe ‘em, they have more appeal!

    Comment by Scott on 12/17/10 at 8:12 am #
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