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Cinnamon - Overview

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A New Winter Super Spice

What could be more welcome and delicious than a warm mug of apple cider sprinkled with cinnamon or a cinnamony baked apple with crushed nuts on a cold winter day: cinnamon is welcome all year round, but its special scent is a particular treat in the winter months. It’s exciting to learn that cinnamon has actual health benefits,

Cinnamon, that delightful spice eliciting memories of Grandma’s kitchen and the comforts of home, is actually more than a delicious addition to foods. One of the oldest spices known and long used in traditional medicine, cinnamon is currently being studied for its beneficial effects on a variety of ailments. Indeed, recent findings on the power of cinnamon to promote health, in particular its benefits for people with type II diabetes have elevated it to the status of a Super Spice.

Cinnamon comes from the interior bark of evergreen trees that are native to Asia. The type we most commonly see in the supermarket is cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia). Known as Chinese cinnamon, it has the sweetly spiced flavor we’re familiar with. Varieties of Chinese cinnamon come from China and northern Vietnam. There’s also Ceylon, or “true,” cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylancium), which is sweeter with a more complex, citrusy flavor. Both types of cinnamon are available in sticks (or “quills”) or ground.

You can find high-quality cinnamon from China as well as from Ceylon, In- Indonesia, and even Vietnam at Penzey’s Spices. They have a few retail stores and an excellent catalog: 800-741 -7787 or www.penzeys.com.
 
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