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Cinnamon  [SIH-nuh-muhn]     Once used in love potions and to perfume wealthy Romans, this age-old spice comes in two varieties — Cinnamomum  zeylanicum  (Ceylon cinnamon) and Cinnamomum  cassia  (cassia). Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. The bark is harvested during the rainy season when it's more pliable. When dried, it curls into long quills, which are either cut into lengths and sold as cinnamon sticks, or ground into powder. Ceylon (or tree) cinnamon is buff-colored and mildly sweet in flavor; cassia cinnamon is a dark, reddish brown color and has a more pungent, slightly bittersweet flavor. Cassia cinnamon is used and sold simply as "cinnamon" in many countries (including the United States). Cinnamon is widely used in sweet dishes, but also makes an intriguing addition to savory dishes such as stews and curries. Oil of cinnamon comes from the pods of the cinnamon tree and is used as a flavoring, as well as a medicinal.

    If you've got it, but don't know what to do with it, below are some traditional dishes that the spice complements nicely.

Salads chicken; fruit
Soups & Stews beef; chicken; fruit
Fish & Poultry chicken
Meats beef; pork; sauerbraten
Vegetables beets; carrots; onions; pumpkin; sweet potatoes; tomatoes;
winter squash
Pasta; Grains;
Dried Beans
bulghur; couscous; lentils; rice
Sauces chocolate; fruit; meat; sweet
Desserts chocolate; fruit; gingerbread; pumpkin; spice cakes and cookies
Miscellaneous chutneys; coffee; eggnog; fruit juices; hot chocolate; jams; marinades;
mulled wine; sweet breads

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