Cinnamon info Cooking Tips
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Cinnamon info Tips and Information|
Cinnamon info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.
Although cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and is mentioned in the records of that country dating back to the 13th century the oldest description available is in the Jewish religious text the Torah. The Portuguese colonised Sri Lanka for its cinnamon but were defeated by the Dutch who controlled world prices by limiting its supply. In India its medicinal properties have been well known since before the 8th century.
How it grows
Culinary usesCinnamon is an evergreen tree of the laurel family Sri Lanka is the largest producer and cinnamon from Sri Lanka and the Seychelles is considered the best in the world. The trdd grows to 10m. The leaves of the cinnamon tree are large leathery and shiny the tiny flowers are lemon white and the oblong fruits are dark purple and have one seed.
Appearance and taste
The dried inner bark of the cinnamon tree is the spice used in cooking. The longest unblemished pieces of bark are rolled by hand to form compact curls and then dried. The long thin scrolls called quills are camel coloured and very brittle. Sometimes during processing some quills fragment and these are sold as quillings. The sweet woody scent of the spice is quite special very easy to recognise and is the main flavouring in many desserts. The taste is warm sharply sweet and aromatic.
Buying and storing
Cinnamon is commonly available as quills quillings or ground into fine powder. Sometimes cinnamon buds are also used as a spice. When buying bags of cinnamon check that there are no chippings and that the quills are fairly long and whole. Cinnamon is easy to grind at home but if you buy ground cinnamon remember that it loses its verve fairly quickly after which it looks tastes and smells like sawdust so buy small amounts and consume within a month
Medicinal and other uses
Cinnamon was known to ancient physicians before 2700 BC. Cinnamon infused in warm water is effective in curing the common cold preventing nervous tension checking nausea and stimulating digestion. Cinnamon oil cures gastric debility and is commonly used as an inhalation for colds and sinusitis. Local application is said to relieve certain rheumatic pains. Cinnamon is used in making incense toothpaste and perfumes. Cinnamon bark oil is used in some pharmaceuticals germicides and soaps. Cinnamon leaf oil is also used in perfumery. Cinnamon oil is used extensively in food processing and in flavouring soft drinks.
Cinnamon is used to flavour rice curries desserts and meats. It is also an essential part of the standard blend of garam masala which includes cardamom cloves and peppercorns. Garam masala is the magic spice mixture which gives many indian dishes that rich heady
fragrance. Masala chai is tea with milk and sugar which is liberally
laced with cinnamon.
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