Facts about cinnamon

We found 13 facts about cinnamon

One of the most closely guarded merchant secrets

It is a well-known and often used aromatic spice in the kitchen. We most often find it in confectionery, chocolate, and some alcoholic drinks. Although it is popular and easily accessible today, in the old days it was reserved only for the highest social groups.

Cinnamon is nothing else than the dried bark of the cinnamon tree.

Cinnamon trees are trees from Southeast Asia. The most frequently used spices are Ceylon cinnamon (the most perfect species used as a spice) and cinnamon.

There are about 250 species of cinnamon tree.

Less popular cinnamon species are most often used in regional cuisines, while the more valuable ones are intended for export.

It has been used since ancient times.

It was imported to ancient Egypt over 4000 years ago, including from China. It was an exceptionally valued spice, so it was often part of gifts given to rulers and deities. There are records documenting the offering of cinnamon in the temple of Apollo in Miletus.

Ancient merchants took great care not to reveal the source of cinnamon.

Thanks to this, for centuries, companies of spice traders maintained a monopoly on the sale of this luxury good. Even in the Middle Ages, the origin of cinnamon remained a mystery to Europeans.

The Ceylon cinnamon tree, the most valued species, comes from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

The cinnamon tree comes from China.

In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used to embalm corpses.

It was also used to produce kyphi, i.e. incense used during religious ceremonies and for medical purposes.

Cinnamon is an evergreen plant.

It has oval leaves, thick bark, and berry-like fruit. They are grown on the principle of suckering forest and their shoots are cut down every two or three years. Next year, new shoots will grow in the place where it was cut.

Cinnamon should be processed immediately after harvesting.

The stems must be moist inside, then the outer bark is stripped off and then the stem is struck evenly to loosen the more tightly attached inner bark.

Bark about 0.5 mm thick from the entire cinnamon tree stem is used, the rest is intended for disposal.

The collected bark is left to dry, during which it takes on the shape characteristic of a cinnamon stick.

Cinnamon is a rich source of calcium, iron, and vitamin K.

It also contains small amounts of magnesium, zinc, and vitamins E and B6.

It also contains about 80 aromatic compounds.

One of them is eugenol, also present in cloves, which has disinfectant and anesthetic properties. However, in excess, it is harmful and may irritate the skin and mucous membranes.

The largest producers of cinnamon are Indonesia (about 40%) and China (about 35%).

Other large producers include Vietnam (17%) and Sri Lanka (8%).

It is one of the basic ingredients of Iranian cuisine.

Since ancient times, it has been added to all kinds of soups, drinks, and sweets. Persian tea or biryani is particularly famous for the addition of cinnamon - a traditional dish made of minced meat, fat, onion, cinnamon, saffron, walnuts, and mint, which is served with baked lungs.

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