ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cinnamon: Flavor That Grows On Trees

Updated on June 30, 2010

You may be surprised to find out that you - yes, you - may have eaten tree bark recently, maybe even today. Cinnamon comes from the bark of either Cinnamomum zeylanicum (named for its native habitat of Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon) or C. cassia, which grows in southeast Asia and parts of China.

Cinnamon sticks are cut from the narrow branches, and the bark naturally curls into tight, round shapes - just like wrapping paper when it's taken off the tube. The same phenomenon that makes wrapping presents harder makes stirring cider easier. Cinnamon powder is cut from older, thicker bark, and is consequently stronger in flavor.

You might wonder who first thought of trying to flavor food with bark, but whoever it was did it a long time ago. The ancient Greeks used the spice, and the historian Herodotus described what is undoubtedly the most innovative way to gather cinnamon. Although the trees grew in inaccessible mountain regions, there were birds that gathered the sticks for their nests. The Greeks would entice the birds with heavy pieces of meat, which would be taken back to the nests. The combined weight of birds and meat would be too much for the nests, which would fall to the ground and put the cinnamon branches within reach.

Fortunately, these days you can get it at the supermarket.

Cinnamon and sugar have forged a popular partnership, but cinnamon can also be used solo in savory dishes:

  • Make an all-purpose spice rub with cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and a little olive oil. Use it when roasting or grilling chicken, pork, or vegetables.
  • Season carrot or squash soup with cinnamon and buttermilk.
  • Add cinnamon and hot paprika to couscous with chickpeas and lamb sausage.
  • Marinate lamb or beef in olive oil, black pepper, allspice, and cinnamon.
  • Serve pork tenderloin with sweet potato puree spiced with onion, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Add cinnamon and a little coconut milk to a mild vegetable curry.
  • Cook chickpeas with a variation of berbere, an Ethiopian spice mix made with chiles, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
  • Make a brown rice pilaf with shallots, cinnamon, and raisins. Add finely chopped fresh parsley just before serving.
  • Add a cinnamon stick to flavor your holiday cranberry sauce.

Who knew you could get so much out of tree bark?

Curried Chicken Breasts With Walnut-Raisin Sauce

1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small yellow pepper, cut into matchstick-thin strips
1 teaspoon chicken-flavor instant bouillon
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dark seedless raisins
1/2 small bunch spinach (about 1/4 pound)

1. On a sheet of waxed paper, mix curry powder, black pepper, cinnamon, 2 teaspoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Use to coat chicken-breast halves.

2. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, in 1 tablespoon heated vegetable oil, cook chicken-breast halves, turning them once, until golden brown on both sides and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife, about 6 minutes; remove to plate; keep warm.

3. In drippings remaining in skillet and 1 tablespoon additional hot salad oil, cook onion, yellow pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden brown and tender.

4. In cup, with fork, mix bouillon, sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1 cup water until blended; stir chicken-broth mixture, toasted walnuts, and raisins into vegetable mixture in skillet. Over high heat, heat to boiling; boil 1 minute.

5. To serve, arrange spinach leaves on 4 warm dinner plates; top with chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)