Monday, April 28, 2008

MMM... Indian Cinnamon

MMMM..Indian Cinnamon. I love the taste of it. It is richer, more texure, and deeper tasting and more expensive. But it is worth it. I get mine from a spice trader for $50 a kilogram.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest and most flavor filled spices known to man. Cinnamon was once more valuable than gold and has been associated with ancient rituals of sacrifice or pleasure. In Egypt, it was sought for embalming and witchcraft; in medieval Europe for religious rites and as flavouring. References to cinnamon are plenty throughout the Old Testament in the Bible. Later it was the most profitable spice in the Dutch East India Company trade.
The name cinnamon comes from Greek kinnámōmon, from Phoenician and akin to Hebrew qinnâmôn, itself ultimately from a Malaysian language, cf. Malay and Indonesian kayu manis "sweet wood".

Cinnamon is the dried bark of an evergreen busy tree. There is a particular season for pealing of the bark. It is considered superior compared to cassia though they belong to the same class.
Cinnamon is used in a wide variety of foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, liquors, cosmetics, perfumery and toiletries.

A major ingredient of garam masala, Cinnamon is used whole in Savoury rice dishes. Khadi, a popular yogurt drink in Gujarat and other northern states, has Cinnamon or cassia as one of its ingredients. Cinnamon oil is an international favourite in beverages and perfumery, while Cinnamon oleoresin is a popular flavour for processed foods.

Cinnamon in grown in various parts of southern India and a remarkable quantity is produced from Kerala.

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