Monday, 17 October 2011

Where does cinnamon come from?

It’s Monday again and finally, in Spain, temperatures are the normal ones for this time of year. I have to say this is my favorite season of the year. I love seeing the different colors of the trees, the walks I used to take on cold but sunny Sundays, the smell of roasted chestnuts on the streets... Something I really feel like cooking these days is anything with cinnamon: custard, cookies, pastries, even meatballs with cinnamon!
Today I was going to make custard with cinnamon… but this morning I've discovered that I won’t be able to use the kitchen for a few days… so I've decided to do something different! I am going to explain where cinnamon comes from!

Cinnamon is tree bark (cinnamomum verum) that has gone through a manufacturing process. When the bark is removed it curls into the characteristic shape of cinnamon sticks.  Generally it comes from Asia, mainly from Sri Lanka, but nowadays it is also cultivated in other countries such as Brasil.
In the year 2500 (BC) the Chinese already knew the cinnamon which was more valued than gold and the ancient Egyptians used it for embalming and for spells. It was on the 1500 that the Portuguese brought the cinnamon to Europe.
It’s said that cinnamon use improves the assimilation of food and prevents fermentation in the digestive tract among other medical applications, so now you don’t need any other excuse to eat cinnamon cakes than is good for your health.
Although I won’t cook it today I've done it in the past so I know it works well, so I will leave here the recipe for the cinnamon custard, just in case any of you decide to try!

0.5L milk
20gr corn flour
2 egg yolks (3 if they are small)
50gr sugar
Cinnamon branch
Lemon peel
Some ground cinnamon

1. Put 400mL of milk in a pot with the cinnamon branch and the lemon peel. Heat until it boils and then put away from heating.
2. Dissolve the corn flour in the other 100mL of cold milk and mix with the sugar and egg yolks.
3. Mix this with the flavored milk and heat over low heat until you get the texture you like. It is important that you try to avoid boiling because the egg yolk is very delicate and could ruin the custard. 
4. Put it in individual bowls and sprinkle some ground cinnamon. If you prefer to eat it cold, just put in the fridge for about two hours and sprinkle the cinnamon before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment