Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snackfoods, tea and traditional foods. It is widely used in Indian food either for making flavored rice, pulao or as a part of spice mix like Biryani Masala or Garam Masala.
The cinnamon from Sri Lanka is known to be the ‘true cinnamon’ whereas China grows a cheaper and less flavored version of it called Cassia barks and it is often confused with each other. If you find a cheaper and discounted cinnamon in your supermarket, you know what the story behind it could be.
Cinnamon sticks are long, brown and cigar-shaped, often described as “quills”. While cinnamon sticks are often a rich, medium-brown, good quality cinnamon sticks are said to be lighter brown in colour. Ground cinnamon or cinnamon powder has a light consistency and is often just dusted upon sweet dishes or more commonly on coffee or hot chocolate drinks at Starbucks. Cinnamon has an earthy and peppery flavor that adds a sweet yet spicy taste to both sweet and savoury dishes.
It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits. While cooking Indian dishes they are generally used along with cardamom, cloves, cumin and coriander seeds.
Recipe using Cinnamon – French Style Apple Cinnamon Cake