Cinnamon in the Kitchen

Cinnamon has been one of the worlds most popular spices since ancient times, and while there are many practical and medicinal uses for the spice, it is best known for its uses in the kitchen.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree - most common cinnamon found in todayís supermarkets is made from the cassia tree, although this is not the true cinnamon of antiquity, which originated from Sri Lanka (Ceylon in ancient times). It still works well for culinary uses.

Today, cinnamon has a variety of uses in the kitchen. Many people like to make cinnamon tea which is purported to have medicinal qualities such as helping boost brain power, aiding in digestion, and helping to keep blood less sticky. In addition, cinnamon has fiber, calcium and manganese so drinking it can give health, as well as taste buds a boost.

Cinnamon is one of the world's most popular spices for baking. It is commonly found in cinnamon buns, cinnamon cookies, apple, and pumpkin pie. One of the most popular recipes is cinnamon raisin bread. Cinnamon is a must for baking, but it can also be used in other dishes as well. Adding cinnamon to sweet potatoes or acorn squash can really give it a zing. At breakfast, oatmeal generally benefits from a dash of cinnamon. Today the spice is found in recipes for many sauces and stews.

There are two choices for the spice in the kitchen, cinnamon sticks or powdered cinnamon. Sticks (or quills as they are called) from the Cassia plant will be difficult to grind. The flavor is usually extracted by boiling or some other means. However, true sweet cinnamon from the original Zeylanicum trees found in Ceylon will grind up more easily when purchased in quill form.

Storing cinnamon in the kitchen is easy. Sticks will remain useable for a very long time. Ground cinnamon, however, will lose itís flavor over time. Store it in a tight container and put it in a cool, dry place. Make sure it is away from light, heat, and humidity.

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