Savor the season: Ginger, nutmeg, cloves & cinnamon


Cinnamon for the win! The ancient spice comes from the bark of different types of cinnamon trees grown in various countries, most commonly in Sri Lanka (this type, called Cinnamomum verum, is referred to as true cinnamon) or Asia (this is called Cinnamomum cassia, and is what’s sold in US and Canada). The two main varieties of cinnamon are ceylon and cassia; they have different appearances and flavors—ceylon is tan with a mild, sweet flavor; cassia is red-brown with a stronger, more pungent taste and smell.

Cinnamon has been used medicinally for centuries because it has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic properties. It contains vital oils and biologically active compounds, including the polyphenol cinnamaldehyde. It may help reduce blood sugar, according to preliminary studies, although it does not seem to control A1C levels, a measure of blood sugar over time. More research is needed to confirm, but if you enjoy the spice, it’s certainly a wonderful addition to recipes.