Food FYI - Cinnamon

I am a huge fan of cinnamon.  Like I would eat cinnamon every day, every meal if I could.  When I was growing up, my dad would make me either oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for breakfast.  He would top it with a little brown sugar and cinnamon.  Sometimes raisins too.  And then he'd also put it on our egg nog during the Christmas season.  Now days, I use cinnamon in a lot of dishes that I make.  Curries, cinnamon rolls, even the creamer I use is cinnamon.  Do you know what an amazing spice this is?  Let me tell you.

Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of the tree Cinnamomum.  There are two main varieties of these trees, but the most common form of cinnamon used comes from the Cassia species.  The cinnamon is harvested from the bark, thus giving us the cinnamon "stick."  It can then be ground, the most commonly used form.

It is believed its origins come from Arabia, or Egypt.  It can be found in the Hebrew Bible to be used in conjunction with holy oils as well as in incense.  It was so highly prized in ancient civilizations that it was often given as a gift to monarchs and even for the gods.

The majority of the world's cinnamon is cultivated in Sri Lanka (80-90%).  The main importer of cinnamon is Mexico, where its main use is in the preparation of chocolate.  Cinnamon gets its flavor and aroma from essential oils contained in the bark.  It is used in foods, mainly in desserts.  But it is also used internationally in savory dishes like chicken and lamb, soups and curries.  But did you know that cinnamon can also be used as an insect repellent?  It is being tested to treat HIV.  It is being used to treat Type II diabetes and high blood pressure.  And it is being tested currently for its effects on melanoma and Alzheimers disease.

Cinnamon is truly a wonder spice.  What do you make with cinnamon, or do you use it in another form other than for injesting?

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
French Toast
Southern Style Peach Cobbler