Tag Archives: cinnamon

Subtly Cinnamon

Sweet Potato-Bourbon Shortbread w.Maple Pecan Streusel

EVERYBODY knows about cinnamon, right?!?  I guess you know that there are two types of cinnamon – both are the bark of trees.   There is the Cassia tree, and there is the Ceylon tree.

Volatile oils give cinnamon its strength.  Ceylon Cinnamon has the lowest volatile oil content (1-2%) and is the preferred cinnamon in Europe and Mexico.  In my opinion, it has more complexity and finesse than Cassia Cinnamon, which is much more in your “face” with volatile oils ranging from 3-7% depending on its originating terroir.    Lula’s Sweet Potato-Bourbon Shortbread with Maple Pecan Streusal, among many other desserts AND savory dishes, contains Ceylon Cinnamon, and sometimes you don’t even know!!

Korintje Cinnamon from Indonesia is the flavor most recognized by American palates as it is the most readily available in our supermarkets.  For fun, seek out China Tung Hing Cassia Cinnamon – you’ll notice it has a bigger “bite” in recipes, and a subtly different flavor from what you’re used to.

What you might NOT be familiar with, are Cassia BUDS.  They are precious and hard to find – resembling a clove in appearance, though perfect and pink.  Obviously, they are the bud of a cassia tree before it flowers – can you imagine the flavor of flowering cinnamon?!?  These buds are prized, and laid in the sun to dry.  They are used in pickling recipes, meat marinades and yummy warm holiday drinks.  Happy Hunting – and if you find some let Lula know!!  For more info like this you can get weekly click HERE!

Do you like Abusive Chocolate?

mexican chocolate

Chocolate with a “kick” that is…in honor of Cinco de Mayo, let’s talk about Mexican Chocolate!

Unlike other chocolate which is “conched” – a process that silkens and refines the chocolate,  Mexican chocolate is stone ground and has a more gritty texture.  It will often be ground with a touch of cinnamon, and can remind the taste buds of molasses or coffee.  You can most likely find the Ibarra, Taza, or Abuelita brands in the USA.

At Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering, I like to use Mexican chocolate in our mole sauce because it gives more depth to the flavor.  You should give it a try!  Now…go get your margarita on!  Salud!