Cinnamon has a long history in the fields of culinary and medicine for its varied uses and scope. It is brown in colour and taken from the bark of the cinnamon tree. It is available in dried tubular structures known as quill and grounded powder. Known for its fragrant and warm taste, cinnamon is a popular choice among all spices.
Though there are hundred varieties of cinnamon plants, only the leading varieties are consumed. There are majorly two kinds of cinnamon that are frequently consumed - Chinese and Ceylon. Though both these varieties have a similar taste and aroma, Ceylon cinnamon is more subtle and refined. The Chinese variety is also called Cassia, and is less expensive and more prevalent for consumption.
It is one of the oldest spices known to mankind. There have been references about this spice in the Bible and ancient Egyptian and Chinese scriptures. Due to its un-declined popularity over decades, cinnamon has become one of the first commodities traded between Europe and Near East.
Cinnamon is available in sticks and grounded form. It should be preserved in a compact sealed glass container. Grounded powder remains fresh for 6 months, while the sticks can stay for a year.
1. The bark is a good source of manganese, calcium, iron and dietary fibe.
2. Cinnamon is known to reduce the bad cholesterol level.
3. Often considered as an anti-inflammatory food, cinnamon helps preventing unwanted clomping of blood platelets.
4. Being a good anti-microbial food, the oil from this spice has the ability to restrict the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi.
5. Very peculiar fragrance of cinnamon helps to boost brain functionality.