Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.

If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.

Cinnamon Sticks and Ground Cinnamon



Ingredient Information


This spice is the dried inner bark of evergreen trees that are in the laurel family (such as bay laurel). There are three types. Cinnamon harvested from the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree that is native to Sri Lanka is a softer and sweeter spice with a paler color. Because Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, this is usually referred to as Ceylon cinnamon.

Cinnamon from the Cinnamomum cassia tree found in the Far East, as well as the Indonesian Cinnamomum loureirii tree, is bolder and more pungent.

The most common spice used in Europe and the Americas is the cassia cinnamon. It is darker than Ceylon cinnamon. Often cassia will be labeled from its country of origin as Chinese, Vietnamese, Sumatra or South America.

In stick form, you can tell the difference between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. The former curls inward from both edges, forming a sort of double stick, while cassia curls only from one edge.

As with any spice, buying the whole product and grinding it yourself is the surest way to get a fresh flavor, but that's not always practical. I have both stick and ground cinnamon in my cupboard. I generally use the whole product when I am going to grind other whole spices for marinades or rubs.

Ask Dr. Gourmet Questions About Cinnamon

Is there any medical proof to the claims about pomegranate juice or cinnamon?
Lately I have been hearing a lot about the benefits of pomegranate juice from helping with prostate cancer to weight loss and lowering cholesterol. Is this the new "wonder food?" Also, cinnamon seems to be another fabulous supplement, lowering blood sugar is the main claimed help. I am wondering if any of these claims have any medical proof?

Does cinnamon help control blood sugars?
I have read that cinnamon helps control blood sugar levels. Is this true, and how much cinnamon would one have to eat daily?

Recipes Using Cinnamon

Apple Cinnamon Bread
Moroccan Shrimp | Coumadin Safe Moroccan Shrimp
Black Bean Chili
Zucchini Bread
Massaman Curry
Lamb Kofta
Braised Cuban Beef
Roasted Papaya Chicken | Low Sodium Roasted Papaya Chicken
Pumpkin Clove Soup with Spiced Sour Cream and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken
Chili Con Carne
Chicken Vindaloo