The smell of cinnamon floating in the air is wonderful and almost magical. There’s nothing quite like it. It is spicy and soothing at the same time. The smell of cinnamon reminds us of Christmas and Hanukkah season and can bring comfort and joy to the soul. Cinnamon comes from a small tree that grows in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil, the Caribbean, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Egypt.
There are about a hundred varieties of Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon which are the most popular. Brown bark of a tree, when dried, rolls into small tubes called quills. It is ground or crushed into a powder for cooking.
Ceylon is sometimes referred to as “true cinnamon” which is softer, sweeter taste and hard to find. Cassia or Chinese cinnamon is the most popular form in the United States. Both forms have very similar characteristics and are aromatic, sweet and warm.
Cinnamon is one of the best spices in the world, goes way back to ancient Bible times. 2 types of cinnamon, Ceylon and Cassia were used in the Bible, the recipe for the holy anointing oil.
In ancient Egypt, cinnamon is used as a flavoring for beverages, medicine and embalming agent. It was treasured higher than gold. In ancient China around 2700BC, it was noted in one of the earliest books on botanical medicine.
Cinnamon is also one of the most relied upon spices in Europe during the Middle Ages. Cinnamon is a great tasting super spice and has many health benefits. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine.