grains of paradise

the pungent, peppery seeds of an African plant, Aframomum melegueta, of the ginger family, used to strengthen cordials and in veterinary medicine. Also called guinea grains, Guinea pepper.
[1490-1500]

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▪ seeds
also called  guinea grains, or melegueta pepper,  

      pungent seeds of Aframomum melegueta, a reedlike plant of the family Zingiberaceae. Grains of paradise have long been used as a spice (spice and herb) and traditionally as a medicine. The wine known as hippocras was flavoured with them and with ginger and cinnamon. The plant is native to tropical western Africa and to São Tomé and Príncipe islands in the Gulf of Guinea; it is cultivated in other tropical countries. Grains of paradise are exported from Ghana.

      The seeds are contained in the acid pulp of the fruit and have a glossy, dark brown husk, with a conical, light-coloured membranous caruncle at the base and a white kernel-like structure called an aril. They contain a neutral essential oil and a viscid, brown resin.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grains of paradise — Paradise Par a*dise (p[a^]r [.a]*d[imac]s), n. [OE. & F. paradis, L. paradisus, fr. Gr. para deisos park, paradise, fr. Zend pairida[=e]za an inclosure; pairi around (akin to Gr. peri ) + diz to throw up, pile up; cf. Skr. dih to smear, and E.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Grains of paradise — Grain Grain (gr[=a]n), n. [F. grain, L. granum, grain, seed, small kernel, small particle. See {Corn}, and cf. {Garner}, n., {Garnet}, {Gram} the chick pea, {Granule}, {Kernel.}] [1913 Webster] 1. A single small hard seed; a kernel, especially of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grains-of-paradise — rojinis imbierpipiris statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Imbierinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Aframomum melegueta), paplitęs atogrąžų Azijoje ir Afrikoje. Iš jo gaminami maisto priedai (kvėpikliai). atitikmenys: lot. Aframomum… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • grains of Paradise — Pepper Pep per, n. [OE. peper, AS. pipor, L. piper, fr. Gr. ?, ?, akin to Skr. pippala, pippali.] 1. A well known, pungently aromatic condiment, the dried berry, either whole or powdered, of the {Piper nigrum}. [1913 Webster] Note: Common, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grains of paradise — noun The seeds of a plant (Aframomum melegueta) in the ginger family native to West Africa used as a spice. Syn: alligator pepper, Guinea grains, Guinea pepper, melegueta pepper …   Wiktionary

  • grains of paradise — noun an African plant, Aframomum melegueta of the ginger family Zingiberaceae, the pungent, peppery seeds of which are used in liqueurs, veterinary medicines and household remedies. Also, guinea grains …   Australian English dictionary

  • grains of paradise — noun West African plant bearing pungent peppery seeds • Syn: ↑Guinea grains, ↑Guinea pepper, ↑melagueta pepper, ↑Aframomum melegueta • Hypernyms: ↑herb, ↑herbaceous plant • …   Useful english dictionary

  • grains of paradise — Date: 15th century the pungent seeds of a West African plant (Aframomum melegueta) of the ginger family that are used as a spice …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • grains of Paradise — plural noun the seeds of a West African plant (Aframomum melegueta), used as a spice and in herbal medicine …   English new terms dictionary

  • Grains of Selim — seed pods The term Grains of Selim refers to the seeds of a shrubby tree, Xylopia aethiopica, found in Africa. It is also known as kimba pepper, African pepper, Moor pepper, Negro pepper, Kani pepper, Kili pepper, Sénégal pepper, Ethiopian pepper …   Wikipedia

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