Cinnamon

Description

Cinnamon is the dried inner bark of various evergreen trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. At harvest, the bark is stripped off and put in the sun, where it curls into the familiar form called "quills."

Uses

Cinnamon in the ground form is used in baked dishes, with fruits, and in confections. Cassia is predominant in the spice blends of the East and Southeast Asia. Cinnamon is used in moles, garam masala, and berbere.

Origins

Cinnamomum burmannii is primarily imported from Indonesia and is the most common form of Cinnamon in the United States. Once again, Vietnam has become the source for Cinnamomun loureirii, referred to as Saigon Cinnamon, and considered the finest Cinnamon available. Cinnamomum zeylanicum, grown in Sri Lanka, is actually "true Cinnamon" but is not widely used in the United States due to its unique flavor.

Folklore

Cinnamon was one of the first known spices. The Romans believed Cinnamon's fragrance sacred and burned it at funerals. Because Cinnamon was one of the first spices sought in the 15th Century European explorations, some say it indirectly led to the discovery of America.

Quick Facts

Ground Cinnamon

Color

Reddish, brown

Flavor & Aroma

Sweet and pungent

Sensory Profile

Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma. It is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the Cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds.
Health Research
: MSI Funded
A small crossover study that examined the effects of a spice-containing meal on blood antioxidant capacity and various metabolic factors including glucose and insulin concentrations.
A study that examined insulin response and plasma antioxidant capacity was presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology Conference.
A study that looked at the consumption of a spice enriched burger on malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. The study found that subjects who consumed the spice burger had lower plasma and urine MDA levels than when they consumed the non-enriched burger. The spice mixture added to hamburger meat before cooking also reduced malondialdehyde concentrations in the burger itself as compared to the burger cooked without spices.

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