Cinnamon is one of the most common spices in the world, and is well-loved across cultures. Since biblical times, it has been popular thanks to its medicinal and culinary properties, as well as its unique fragrance. Obtained from the inner brown bark of Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon has a sweet flavour.
Usually considered an exotic spice, cinnamon is indigenous to Sri Lanka. However, today, it is grown in several other countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India and China. Despite the spice being cultivated in various other countries across the globe, the original Sri Lankan variety of cinnamon is commonly considered as “true cinnamon.”
When used in the preparation of dishes, cinnamon spice is ground just before cooking and only added at the last moment so as to preserve its unique taste and fragrance. This is because when cooked for a long time, the essential oils found in the spice, which give sit aroma and flavour, tend to evaporate. Since ancient times, cinnamon is used for preparing all kinds of dishes in Asia, especially in Chinese cuisine. It is also widely used in Indian cuisine along with other spicy items such as masala powder to marinate meat such as fish and chicken.
Apart from its culinary uses, cinnamon spice also has various health benefits. For instance, it has the highest antioxidant strength of all natural food sources. Additionally, the active principles the spice contains have been shown to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antiseptic, carminative, warming and soothing, as well as anti-flatulent properties.