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2007-01-06

>Ceylon cinnamon vs. cassia

I have a whole jar of dried cinnamon sticks in the kitchen. I haven't paid too much attention to what kind it is. Cassia, the "inferior" kind, it turns out.

Cinnamon's common names refer to the shape of the bark, or "channel". Cannell, cannelle, canella, canela. There is a fascinating history involving the major players, Ceylon cinnamon and cassia.

Of course, like so many other flavorful things, cinnamon comes in different varieties. For all we know, as varied as cocoa beans. I will leave it up to tomorrow's flavor makers to come up with names for the dozens of subtle perfumes.

***
>Cassia smoked Changmai pork sausages with tomato chilli relish and pickled cucumber - Spirit House, Yandina, Queensland, Australia
>Chocolate prune hazelnut armagnac tart with cassia bark ice cream - Percy's Country, Devon, UK
>Chocolate and tonka yoghurt sorbet with cassia bark - The Bath Priory, Bath, UK
>Wood roasted squab with glazed brussel sprouts, chestnut dumpling, Ceylon cinnamon sauce - Butterfield9, Washington, D.C.
>Rock lobster "Mediterranean langoustine", fine vermicelli pasta, Ceylon cinnamon reduction - Club XIX, Pebble Beach, CA


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