Cinnamon, perhaps one of the most popular and tastiest of spices used for sweet & savory recipes. What many do not know is that cinnamon is actually the bark of a tree. I remember visiting the little farm of one my uncles when I was little. He once took me under a tree, took out a pocket knife & sliced out a soft bark from the tree & told me to first smell it & then chew on it! It was cinnamon.. this bark was still young, & had not matured enough to form the cinnamon sticks. The bark of the tree is pounded & soaked in sea water & distilled to make cinnamon oil.
Here is a little information about Cinnamon…
Cinnamomum verum, also known as Cinnamon (the tree), is an evergreen ranging from ten meters high to fifteen meters. Cinnamon (the spice), is made from the bark of this tree. However, while producing its edible bark (after some preparation, of course), the tree also composes fruit, which comprise only of very small, purple berries. The berries are not the prime product of the tree that humans are concerned with. While the tree is only native to Sri Lanka, it has been cultivated commercially in many tropical countries including Brazil, Vietnam and Madagascar. Surprisingly, and contrary to the smell of cinnamon, the leaves of the tree give off a foul odor. The name “Cinnamon” is from Greek origin, but also has some Hebrew and Malaysian roots….the Sri Lanka Cinnamon trees are believed to make the best cinnamon.
There are different types of cinnamon, and when people say the word “cinnamon” with no other description, the variety is assumed to be the pure cinnamon, or Ceylon Cinnamon. This is the Cinnamon that comes from the Cinnamon tree Cinnamomum verum. However, there is another type of Cinnamon tree, Cinnamomum aromaticum, which doesn’t produce the true cinnamon, but something very similar. This imitation cinnamon is called Cassia Cinnamon, and although it is not the “pure” kind, the majority of all cinnamon sold it in the United States is Cassia. Cassia Cinnamon is different from Ceylon in that it is stronger, thicker, and harder. The reason for this is that with Ceylon Cinnamon, only the inner bark is used to make the cinnamon, but with Cassia, all the bark is used (and it’s a different species of tree). While the sticks of the two cinnamon types are easily distinguishable, the ground form is not, although there are different techniques that can be used to figure out what is what… (Info taken from Spice Place Blog…)
Of the zillion things that you can add cinnamon to… Tea is one of them…
The fragrance of cinnamon conjures up nice, warm, cozy feelings. Cinnamon Tea is a lovely thing to enjoy with some sweet pastries & apple cobblers. I like mine not hot, but as a cooler.. with a slice of lemon.
Since Cinnamon is Edible Wood, I thought this (Tea with Cinnamon) would qualify for CLICK! WOOD…the picture above is participating in CLICK: WOOD hosted by the Jugalbandits.
Ingredients: (Serves 1)
- One cinnamon stick, or 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
- Sugar/Honey (optional)
- A teabag
- Warm milk (Optional)
Put the cinnamon stick in a cup. Alternativley, use 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon powder.
Boil a cup of water.
Add the boiling water to the cup with cinnamon & let it steep for about 10 minutes. (Or boill a cup of water with the cinnamon at medium heat for about 10 -15 minutes… discard the cinnamon after).
Add the teabag. Soak the teabag for 2-3 minutes before removing it.
Add sugar / sweetner for a sweeter taste & Milk (optional)
Squeeze some fresh lemon if you want…
Enjoy with company or with some quiet moments with yourself:-)