Cinnamon: Warming Winter Spice for Good Health
Think chocolate is a winter comfort and healing food? Wait until you hear about cinnamon. This agreeable spice is not just about adding zing to cookies anymore. Cinnamon is valued as one of the world’s most important spices.
For spice and use in promoting health benefits, cinnamon trees are cultivated on plantations in tropical regions, including Indonesia, which is where Yogi gets its high quality cinnamon. The outer bark of new shoots is stripped, leaving the inner bark, which is the harvested spice. The strips of dried bark curl up into the familiar sticks, or quills.
Cinnamon use dates back thousands of years. Egyptians added it to their embalming mixtures around 500 B.C. Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans utilized it as a spice, perfume, and natural remedy. By the seventeenth century, Europeans regarded cinnamon as a culinary spice and nineteenth century Western doctors recommended cinnamon to promote healthy digestion.
For culinary purposes, cinnamon bark is a warming spice that figures prominently in the cuisines of North Africa and the Middle East. It goes well in cold, sweet dishes like fruit juice and cooked grains (think cereal).
Cookie bakers smell attractive. A double-blind study of aromas found that the smell of baked cinnamon buns had the greatest aphrodisiac effect on men. In the follow-up study, the odor that was the most, er, attractive to men was, surprisingly, a combination of lavender and cinnamon-rich pumpkin pie.
This one is really a winner. Do you guys have any favorite cinnamon recipes?