31 May 2008

Spicy

I recently made a startling discovery.

I had known for a long time that almost everything sold as 'cinnamon' is actually something called cassia; something far cheaper for mass production.

So the other day I went to a shop that sells spices in bulk. They had both cinnamon and cassia, so I got some cinnamon quills and some powder.

When I opened the powder and sniffed it, I thought something was wrong. it smelled more like garam marsala than cinnamon. I put some in my semolina and tasted it; it tasted somewhat like nutmeg, somewhat like allspice - but not like what I knew as cinnamon. It was a more earthy taste, more mellow, without the kick of cassia. It was wild and warm and beautiful and somehow familiar yet like nothing I had ever known. I truly wondered then if this really was cinnamon.

I took one of the quills and stirred a hot chocolate with it. The blend of true cinnamon and chocolate was amazing. That same warm, earthy, mellow, wild taste mingled perfectly with chocolate. It was a blend designed in heaven.

I think I will always love cassia like I always have. But now I know the difference, my choice has widened. I want to make everything I've ever made with cassia again with real cinnamon and see what it's like. I want to try the two together.

The possibilities are endless.

4 comments:

Stinkypaw said...

I've never heard of cassia, I'll google it. You've picked my curiosity!

Summer Rose said...

Glad to see you are still around, wondered what was going on. Sending my love
S.R.

Maegen said...

when you say cinnamon quill... is this what we call cinnamon stick? like a piece of wood bark rolled up and dried? Or is this something else?

cinnamon girl said...

Very belatedly - Maegen, quills and sticks are certainly the same thing!