Cinnamon is a wonderful spice that all cooks know and love. It is a very old spice and is referenced in the Bible several times. It comes from the bark of trees that grow in places like Sri Lanka, Egypt, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil. The island nation of Indonesia includes the famous Spice Islands, a.k.a. Maluku Islands. There are 4 varieties of cinnamon trees, (genus Cinnamomum) in the Laural (Lauraceae) family, that are used for culinary purposes. Its flavor and aroma comes from cinnamonaldehyde, an essential oil of the bark.
Sweet Summer Scents
Anyone who has grown scented geraniums knows how fragrant their leaves are. You need only brush by a patch to release their lovely perfume. Cooks have long known that the leaves can be used to add flavor to various dishes. Not all scented geraniums are suited for cooking, but the sweet scented ones (lemon, nutmeg, rose, mint, etc.) certainly are. Rose scented geraniums are by far the most favored for culinary purposes. They can be infused in hot liquid to make simple syrups or cut up and added directly to dishes. Scented geranium leaves are often used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes. At the end of the article, I’ll include a fun recipe for homemade toothpaste.