Cardamom is an expensive spice -- each fruit pod with the seed inside has to be taken from the flower stalk by hand. The pods ripen at different speeds, requiring close watching. Then dry and sell as they mature. It was native to India and Sri Lanka, and used in the Middle East to flavor coffee among other uses, including medicinal. So how did this get to Scandinavia? and in the delicious spicy coffee cakes and breads?
Vikings, says Natural Remedies of Arabia, in Saudi Aramco World magazine, Sept-Oct 2006, online at
http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200605/natural.remedies.of.arabia.htm. They discovered it a millennia ago -- this probably would be the Norse Vikings, as I understand Swedish Vikings tended to go inland and down through Russia to the Black Sea, but the Swedes could well arrived farther south as well?
Others identify the 16th-17th Century Dutch as the bringers of the cardamom, see sites at http://judysbakeryandtestkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/09/limpa-bread.html.