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Cinnamon is a sweet and rich aromatic spice, mahogany wood in color and fragrance, that adds depth to sweet and savory dishes across the globe.
What does cinnamon taste like?
A complex flavor with tastes of wood, must, earth, citrus, spice, and warmth and a sweet scent of spice and smoke.
Where does cinnamon come from?
Native to Sri Lanka and China the botanical origin of the name cinnamon aptly translates to fragrant spice. There are two main varieties of cinnamon, cassia (Chinese) and ceylon (sri lankan), the stripped and dried inner bark of the cinnamomum family.
Cassia bark or cinnamomum cassia being the more popular variety of cinnamon found worldwide. To differentiate between the two barks cassia is rolled in two loops whereas ceylon is rolled in a single loop.
Cassia bark is the most common being cheaper to produce and stronger in flavor and color although slightly less sweet.
Versatile in its differing regional use throughout the world. Cinnamon has applications for both sweet and savory; in South America, chocolate drinks and desserts, in India, curries, and tea, in the Middle East, poultry and red meat, through Europe and North America, cakes, cereals and desserts and in China, soups, stews and Chinese five-spice.
- Cloves: spicy, sweet, and earthy, many components of cloves match cinnamon for use in sweet and savory dishes.
- Nutmeg: alike in sweet and savory properties, often used in similar recipes.
- Allspice: matching in flavor of strong and sweet spice.
- Mace: for savory dishes mace can provide the earthy aromatic milder notes of cinnamon.
- Grains of paradise: spice, wood and pepper are all flavors within grains of paradise which match cinnamon.
Cinnamon Compliments and Pairings
The spice pairs well with varying ingredients including apple, pear, quince, dried fruit, chocolate, almond, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, mace, red meat, cumin, coriander, ginger and rice.
Cinnamon Expiration and Storage
- Sticks: store in an airtight container away by direct light for up to one year.
- Ground: store in an airtight container away by direct light for up to six months.
Fun Facts About Cinnamon
- Cinnamon Bun Day is celebrated in Sweden on 4th October.
- In the 16th century Spanish botanical expeditions were led to search for spices such as cinnamon and cloves in tropical America.
- Cassia is burned as incense at Buddhist temples.
Popular Cinnamon Recipes
- Cinnamon bun
- Mulled wine
- Banana bread
- Mole pablano
- French toast
- Crispy aromatic duck
- Apple and cinnamon pie