The unique aroma of spices adds to the flavor and color of our food. Spices have a positive and healthy role to play in our bodies. The fragrance that makes a spice special is usually a compound that the plant creates for its defense from animals or insects, or for survival and reproduction.
The benefits of chai, therefore, depend on the quality and types of spices that are present in it. Here we will outline the fun facts of each ingredient; all of these are found in #OnlyTheGoodStuff
This month we will be starting with one of the world's most-loved spices: cinnamon!
Fun (and useful) facts about cinnamon:
- Cinnamon doesn’t have a sweet taste but does amplify the sweetness in other ingredients.
- The better quality cinnamons are more breakable (fragile).
- The average cinnamon tree grows to 60 feet in height.
- Cinnamon acts as a natural preservative. Its flavour compounds, called caryophyllene, are not water-soluble.
- Cinnamon sticks are also called ‘quills’.
- A year’s supply of cinnamon was actually burned at the funeral of Roman Emperor Nero’s wife, after he killed her as a way of showing his remorse.
- Just smelling the wonderful odour of cinnamon boosts brain activity!
A traditional warming remedy: In traditional Chinese medicine and in Ayurveda, cinnamon has been valued for its warming qualities. It has been used to provide relief when suffering from the cold or flu, especially when mixed in tea with some ginger (like Prana Chai).
Who would think so, hah?