CINNAMON: A TASTE OF FALL
With fall now upon us, this time of year conjures up for many people some delectable food memories with their unforgettable tastes and smells. One spice that is often an integral part of those memories is cinnamon, with its warm, spicy, sweet, pungent aroma. It has a universal use, since it can be added to both sweet and savory dishes. Cinnamon is used in fall recipes such as: apple and pumpkin pies, hot apple cider, savory stews and chilis. However, what most people do not realize is that there are different types of cinnamon. And which cinnamon to use depends upon your dish. So, we would like to talk with you about the types of cinnamons, and share one of our favorite easy fall desserts, a baked apple with Spice For Life’s Vietnamese cinnamon.
Types of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of the most ancient spices. It is the dried inner bark of an evergreen tree from the laurel family that is grown in Asia. The only “true cinnamon” is Ceylon cinnamon grown predominately in Sri Lanka. It is the essential oils in cinnamon, which gives it its unique flavor. Ceylon Cinnamon sticks have 0.5% to 2% in essential oils. Thus, this cinnamon has a milder sweet taste with floral undertones. It pairs wonderfully in savory foods and in your morning coffee. However, it is not what most people in the U.S. think of when they think of cinnamon. In the U.S, the most popular “cinnamon” is Vietnamese (or Saigon) Cinnamon. However, this is not a true cinnamon, but a relative of cinnamon called cassia. In the rest of the world, you can only use the name “cinnamon” when referring to Ceylon cinnamon, but the U.S does not have those restrictions. Vietnamese cinnamon (cassia) is made up of 4%-6% essential oils, giving this spice its intense sweet flavor and aroma. It is often used in baking and as a welcome addition to your morning oatmeal or protein shake. There are two other types of cinnamon (cassia), Chinese and Korintje (Indonesian). They have an essential oil component of 2%-3%, thus giving them a less intense sweet flavor than the Vietnamese and a lighter color. These cinnamons go well in savory cooking, your morning coffee, and some baking, where the flavor of cinnamon is not predominating. So, the type of cinnamon you choose depends upon its use. At Spice For Life, we provide you with these choices.
For a simple fall dessert, the healthy and delicious baked apple cannot be matched. Of course, the first step is selecting the right apple. Here is a guide for your apple selection. This recipe takes only 15 minutes to prepare and when it comes out of the oven your house will smell like fall. Because of Vietnamese cinnamon’s intense sweet flavor and aroma, this is the cinnamon we want to use in this recipe to enhance the delicious apple flavor.
Enjoy your fall cooking with different types of cinnamon!