Whether it’s the first of November or the end of July, every day seems like National Cinnamon Day.
The spice that brings us pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon rolls is beloved by many.
It’s hard not to love something that smells as good as it tastes, and for some, the flavor of cinnamon is one of the most comforting around.
And for those yet to taste this holiday spice, the big question is: what does cinnamon taste like? Want to find out? Simply read on.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of certain trees in the Cinnamomum family.
Did you know that cinnamon has been around since 2000 BC? It’s believed that the Egyptians used it not only as a flavoring but also for embalming.
Cinnamon is made by cutting the bark of the tree, then stripping it and rolling it into a tube.
Once dried, the tube can be ground into powder.
There are two broad categories of cinnamon- Ceylon, and cassia.
These days, you’re most likely to find cassia cinnamon at your local grocery store as they’re cheaper.
If you’ve ever heard that cinnamon originated from China, then it was probably cassia cinnamon being referred to.
In fact, there are three types of cassia cinnamon – Chinese, Indonesian, and Saigon.
Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is considered to be “true” cinnamon.
This species is native to Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
Today, the cinnamon you typically buy from supermarkets comes from the warmer regions of southeast Asian countries.
What Does Cinnamon Taste Like?
From desserts to teas to dishes, cinnamon is a popular flavoring that you can use in many different ways.
The taste of cinnamon is often described as sweet and woody with a warm, earthy flavor.
When used in small amounts, it can add a depth of flavor to any dish without being overwhelming.
When used generously, however, the strong flavor of cinnamon can become quite overpowering.
Cinnamon is often used in sweets and baked goods, as the warm flavor compliments sugar nicely.
But it also goes well with savory dishes like curries and stews.
Now, the ultimate flavor of cinnamon may vary slightly depending on its species.
For example, Ceylon cinnamon is often described as being lighter and sweeter, while cassia cinnamon is said to be more pungent and spicy.
Further, the taste of cinnamon also depends on where it comes from.
Chinese cassia cinnamons are known to have the strongest flavor with some bitter notes.
Indonesian cassia has the sweetest and mildest taste, while Saigon cassia has an intense aroma and flavor that is quite spicy.
Cinnamon has been used for centuries in both cooking and traditional medicine.
It’s thought to help treat everything from the common cold to indigestion, and research suggests that it may even have some anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
How to Cook and Use Cinnamon?
There’s so much you can do with cinnamon.
Whether you want to make a sweet treat or use it as a spice in savory dishes, cinnamon is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor and depth to any dish.
If you’re new to cooking with cinnamon and unsure which type to use, it’s best to start with Ceylon cinnamon.
Once you get a feel for how this type of cinnamon tastes, you can experiment with using cassia cinnamon in your cooking.
Here are some tips on how to use cinnamon in the kitchen:
- When baking, cinnamon can be used as a spice in cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon to savory dishes like stews, curries, and roasted vegetables for a flavor boost.
- Make cinnamon sugar by mixing equal parts sugar and cinnamon. You can use this as a topping for baked goods or sweet and spicy seasoning for fruits and other dishes.
- Cinnamon tea is a delicious and soothing way to enjoy the benefits of cinnamon. Simply steep cinnamon sticks in hot water to make your own tea.
One of the most popular recipes for cinnamon is a pumpkin spice latte, and here’s how you can make it at home.
You only need some pumpkin puree, milk, coffee, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a mug and enjoy.
Overall, cinnamon is a versatile and aromatic condiment that you can use in various recipes.
It’s also packed with health benefits, so it’s definitely worth incorporating into your diet.
As far as flavor goes, cinnamon can range from sweet and woody to spicy and pungent.
It all depends on the type of cinnamon and where it comes from.
So, we hope you now know a little better about this amazing spice.
Be sure to experiment with different types of cinnamon in your cooking, and enjoy the delicious flavor it brings to any dish.