Spicy, tangy and a little sweet - the unique aroma of cinnamon accompanies us especially during the Christmas season. Cinnamon is not only one of the oldest spices, but was used in ancient times because of its healing properties and embalming. But cinnamon can also harm your health. We have put together for you both the health benefits and disadvantages of cinnamon.
Cinnamon - an exotic spice
Cinnamon stars and spiced biscuits, mulled wine and punch: the unmistakable taste and scent of cinnamon accompany us especially through the winter. Something warming sticks to it, a touch of exoticism, even a pinch of adventure. Once a sign of exclusivity and power, if you could afford this spice, cinnamon is affordable for today's budget.
We now know that it does not grow on the bottom of lakes (as Herodotus still believed in 450 BC), nor, as propagated in Arabia, is collected by cinnamon birds in their nests, which are shot down by brave hunters with bows and arrows Need to become. Even the medieval fantasy that cinnamon is washed straight from paradise into the waters of the Nile, where it is captured by diligent fishermen, is today replaced by the knowledge of which cinnamon flourishes in which country. Nevertheless, the beguiling scent and incomparable taste still have something magical, arouse the idea of wealth and foreign worlds.
The cinnamon plant
What we spice up our gingerbread is nothing but tree bark. Of course, this must be won in a special way. There are two types of cinnamon trees: the cinnamon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), which is also called Caneel and comes mainly from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), and the Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), originally in China, today also in Vietnam, Indonesia and is grown on Sumatra. Ceylon cinnamon is more fragrant and sweet, cassia cinnamon has more of a strong, sharper character.
The extraction of Ceylon cinnamon requires some work: Since the bark is peeled off only by the tender root shoots, the trees are kept short by constant knocking and the rhizomes are stimulated to drive ever new offshoots.
The cassia cinnamon tree, on the other hand, may grow out, after four years is harvested for the first time. To get to the delicate, only millimeter thick inside of the bark, bark and middle bark are removed; the inner bark is peeled, rolled up by itself and is dried.
Worth knowing about cinnamon
- Species: Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum cassia (+ more 350)
- Genus: Cinnamomum
- Family: Laurel Family (Lauraceae)
- Order: Laurel-like (Laurales)
- Subclass: Magnolia-like (Magnoliidae)
- Class: Mono-pollen-dicotyledonous (Magnoliopsida)
- Department: Bedecktsamer (Magnoliophyta)
By the way: The camphor tree ( Cinnamomum camphora ), which is known for its essential oil in common cold balms, belongs to the genus of cinnamon plants.