Familiarity breeds contempt, as they say, and often I find the taste of cinnamon a bit too predictable and a bit too Christmassy. Cardamom has become my new favorite spice (smoked paprika is a close second), and it works well in many instances where the recipe calls for cinnamon. Cardamom has such an elegant fragrance and taste - light and flowery, and entirely unique. There is really nothing quite like cardamom.
I have found whole pods in Indian rice dishes, it's used in Middle Eastern desserts, the Swedes sprinkle it in the dough of their yeast rolls. It's beautiful in tea, black or green, makes for an instant chai, just add some latte (cow's or almond) - no sugar needed. It works well in mild desserts where its unique flavor really stands on its own, such as rice pudding, panna cotta, chia pudding, or cardamom flavored vanilla ice cream. And sprinkling it on your breakfast oatmeal makes the mundane sophisticated.
As an ancient Indian spice, that's been around the block a few times, it has of course medicinal properties, and chewing on a pod freshens your breath. Just open a spice jar with cardamom pods or powder and let yourself be transported far far away by the fragrance of this beautiful spice.