After a dinner characterized by the use of fresh basil and plenty of wine with friends last night, we moved on to dessert. We had my blueberry-peach cobbler that is topped with finely chopped pecans, oats, brown sugar, honey, spices and a bit of butter. Of course served a-la-mode. As we were eating this (delicious) dessert, the Italian in our midst makes a comment about the American use of cinnamon. His thought was that it was overused and in nearly everything. When I said ‘spices’ earlier, I meant ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and plenty of cinnamon. That got me thinking.

I love cinnamon. It goes in my pancakes, banana bread, carrot cake…most of my baking, some of my marinades. Sometimes it lands itself in my tea or on my toast. But the flavors blend so well—each complementing the next to be aromatically and sensually pleasing. Yet I was left with this question: Do I overuse this favorite spice thus neglecting others?

I would like to think that I use this spice appropriately so that it helps to build the flavor of the dishes I cook or bake while not overpowering and pushing out the other flavors. There is a long list of dishes that it has not worked itself into. Thus, I am hopeful that I have not fallen into this (apparently) American trap. However, I will certainly be watching my spice use a little more carefully in the near future to see what other patterns there that I might not have noticed so clearly.

One Reply to “cinnamon”

  1. I think cinnamon is great! In fact we have recently discovered some new and exciting ways to incorporate it into more savory dishes. Combining it with tumeric and ginger in Indian type cuisine is a great thing. Perhaps your Italian friend has just yet to appreciate the diversity that cinnamon has to offer.

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