Cinnamon, with its warming flavour, has been a staple in our Persian inspired kitchen for a while now. From comforting macaroni and lubia polo to the aromatic zereshk polo, this spice has a special place in some of our family favourites. Whether infused in rice water or sprinkled on steamed Persian rice (Chelow), its presence elevates our entire dining experience. However, my husband, H, discovered that not all cinnamon is created equal, and his spice journey took an unexpected turn.
Curb Carb Cravings
With the highest antioxidant value among all spices, cinnamon is more than just a delightful flavour enhancer. Studies suggest that it can help regulate blood sugar levels, curbing carb cravings and hunger pangs. Some ongoing research even points towards its potential as a weight-loss aid. So, keeping cinnamon on hand is not just a culinary choice but also a health-conscious one.
Cinnamon In Persian Dishes
While in the UK, many associate cinnamon with Christmas treats, its flavour goes beyond the festive season. In our household, we incorporate cinnamon into various Persian dishes like lubia polo and macaroni. A sprinkle on top of a latte also adds a touch of warmth and sweetness without the need for extra sugar. It’s a versatile spice that can be a fantastic substitute for traditional sweeteners.
Unfortunate Tale Of H’s Cinnamon Rash
During lockdown, H faced a persistent facial rash that led to a journey of spice self-discovery. Despite numerous allergy tests, the culprit was elusive. Eventually, H traced the issue to Cassia cinnamon, the variety he had been generously using in his dishes and tea. Switching to Seasoned Pioneers’ Ceylon cinnamon proved to be the solution H needed, and the transformation in his skin was nothing short of dramatic. Sourced with care and commitment to quality, Seasoned Pioneers‘ Ceylon cinnamon not only elevates the taste of our Persian dishes, but also prioritises health.
Cassia vs. Ceylon: Unveiling The Differences
Understanding the differences between Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon became crucial for us after lockdown. Cassia, derived from the Cinnamomum cassia tree, dominates the market with its robust and spicy flavour. It has a darker hue, thicker sticks, and a rougher texture compared to the milder and sweeter Ceylon cinnamon, known as the “true cinnamon,” originating from Sri Lanka.
The critical distinction lies in coumarin content, a compound that can be harmful in large doses. Cassia, being rich in coumarin, poses a potential risk, making Ceylon a safer choice for regular consumption. Both are healthy and delicious, but if you’re consuming large amounts or considering a supplement, opting for Ceylon can be a safer bet.
Choose Your Cinnamon Wisely
So, the next time you reach for that cinnamon shaker, take a moment to consider the type you’re using. Whether you’re spicing up Persian delicacies or adding a hint of warmth to your daily latte, making the right cinnamon choice can enhance well-being. After all, when it comes to cinnamon, not all sticks are created equal.