Cinnamon comes from the dried bark of a cinnamon tree. Commercially, there are two important species. Ceylon cinnamon, whose thin, smooth and fine bark is a light, matte brown, is the most aromatic cinnamon. The paler it is, the better its quality. Chinese cinnamon, whose bark is called “cassia” or “false cinnamon”, has a less fine flavor, a more pungent taste and is thicker than Ceylon cinnamon. Less expensive, it is what is used most today in homes and restaurants in North America.
Cinnamon is sold in sticks, as a powder or as an essential oil. Ground cinnamon has a stronger flavor than cinnamon sticks, but it deteriorates more quickly.
At room temperature: Keep cinnamon in an airtight container, away from light and moisture
Serving Ideas for Cinnamon
Cinnamon is used to flavor cakes, cookies, apple pies, donuts, brioches, puddings, crepes, compotes, yogurts, and confectionary.
In central Europe, Italy, Spain, and Canada, it is used to season soups, meats, tomato sauces, veggies, pot roast, couscous, pasta dishes, and marinades.
To English-speaking countries, it is traditionally used to season baked squash.
In France and Nordic countries, it is added to mulled wine.
In Asia, dried cinnamon buds, leaves, and berries are also used.
Cinnamon is used in pharmacy to flavor various preparations, including toothpaste.
Ground cinnamon added to tea or any other liquid is said to relieve gastric ailments and combat diarrhea.