This spice, imported from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) and China, is harvested twice a year. It comes from the cinnamon tree, the bark of which is scraped off and cut into strips. After being dried in the sun, these strips are turned into the cinnamon sticks we are familiar with. It has been used since ancient times, and its existence has been recorded in Chinese botanical treatises written several thousand years before Christ. In powder form, it is used as an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.
Because it is harvested twice a year, cinnamon is available all year round. It comes in powder form or as sticks, the choice of which depends on its use. It can be purchased from supermarkets, quality grocery stores, and sellers of exotic products.
You can grind it into powder yourself, in which case it will have more flavor than already ground cinnamon.
Take note that cinnamon powder does not withstand long cooking times. It should be added halfway through cooking, or use cinnamon sticks.
Cinnamon is used as an ingredient in many dishes. For desserts, it gives flavor to Moroccan orange salad, brioches and cakes, tarts, and honey. It is also used in savory, particularly exotic, dishes. It is used to enhance the flavor of sauces, curries, and couscous. Cinnamon is also used in hot drinks, such as hot chocolate, mulled wine, and herbal teas.
Cinnamon can be kept for several months in powder form, and for several years as sticks, stored in an airtight container in a dry place.
Cinnamon is a spice with a high antioxidant content. It is also a remarkable source of energy.
Chinese cinnamon is less sweet, more bitter, and darker than the more prestigious Ceylon cinnamon, which has a stronger aroma.