Saturday, April 14, 2012

Word of the Week: Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of certain trees native to Southeast Asia. It is also mentioned in the Bible when Moses was instructed to add cinnamon to the holy anointing oil. The aroma comes from the essential oil present in this bark. Some people don't like the taste or smell, but I've found it to be divine, especially when used in baking. 

Recently, I wrote about the Vanilla I had bought from Bali. In the same spice market, I picked up these giant cinnamon sticks and lugged them into the plane.

I saw the Cinnamon Challenge on the web, where a person tries to eat or swallow a full tablespoon of ground cinnamon under 60 seconds without drinking and then posts their video online for all to laugh at. Can you believe this competitive eating challenge has been around for more than 10 years? I strongly advise you not to try it - there is a toxic chemical compound in cinnamon called coumarin that can induce coughing and gagging if you inhale it. 

Giant cinnamon sticks next to vanilla pods 
Now I just need a giant cuppa to go with these.

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