Cinnamon is possibly the most common baking spice, and is used in cakes, cookies, and desserts throughout the world. Cinnamon is also used in savory chicken and lamb dishes from the Middle East. In American cooking, Cinnamon is often paired with apples and used in other fruit and cereal dishes. 3" to 4" Stick Cinnamon is used in pickling and for flavoring hot beverages. Cinnamon has a sweet, woody fragrance in both ground and stick forms.
For a fragrant pilaf, cook rice in Cinnamon flavored broth and stir in chopped dried fruit and toasted nuts. The sweetspicy flavor of Cinnamon enhances the taste of vegetables and fruits. Cinnamon is a perfect partner for chocolate; use it in any chocolate dessert or drink. It is used to mellow the tartness of apple pie. Ground Cinnamon should not be added to boiling liquids; the liquid may become stringy and the Cinnamon will lose flavor.
Cinnamon sticks are typically sold in glass jars. They are brown in color, composed of rolled bark, and are fairly hard, but easily broken and are no longer than an index finger. Cinnamon sticks emit a fairly strong smell of cinnamon as well.
Selecting and Buying
Most cinnamon sticks available in the grocery store are composed of Korintje (or Indonesian) cinnamon, but other varieties may be available at specialty markets.
Preparation and Use
Left whole, cinnamon sticks can be used as a decorative garnish, used as a stirring stick for warm drinks, or used to infuse hot liquids; remove before consuming. They can also be grated or ground for use in recipes, from sweet baked goods to savory ethnic foods.
Conserving and Storing
As a whole spice, cinnamon sticks store well for long periods. The ideal condition for storing all spices is cool, dark, and low humidity.