This week's Ingredient Series features Cinnamon, a versatile spice that complements Star Anise in many dishes. Cinnamon has a long history as a spice with string of health and wellness benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and helps prevent heart disease. The added benefits make this preventative spice easy to eat or use on a daily.
To expand culinary horizons with cinnamon, leverage it in recipes, concoct drinks with it or include in home remedy skincare. (How else can a girl find all-natural blemish care at a moment's notice?) There are actually TWO varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon (Sri Lankan) or Cassia (Chinese), with nuanced flavor profiles that are specific to the types of dishes being made. Ceylon Cinnamon has a sweet delicate flavor that can found be in desserts, most notably in apple pie and cinnamon coffee cake. Cassia Cinnamon has a more pronounced and robust flavor that makes it a strong flavor enhancer in savory dishes.
In Asian culture, Star Anise enhances Cinnamon when the two spices are paired together in savory dishes. In Beef Noodle Soup, Cinnamon adds a layer of warmth and spice to the braised meat and broth. These two spices brighten the dish and brings out the rich umami flavor of other ingredients like soy sauce. Try adding Cinnamon during your next homemade bowl of Beef Noodle Soup!