so I bought cinnamon sticks...

vacuumfreakDecember 10, 2008

On a whim yesterday, I bought cinnamon sticks to replace my cinnamon powder with. Is there a discernable difference in taste between the two? Is it worth the trouble? I don't have a coffee grinder, so I'm assuming the best way to grind them is with my microplane?

Do I use the sticks the same way that I'd use the powdered cinnamon, once I get them ground? I'm looking forward to sticking a stick in some cider or hot chocolate as it gets cooler out.

I really have never used whole cinnamon sticks once. I tried about 5 years ago, because they were the only thing available in the house where I was baking. I tried to smash it with the food processor, put it in a bag and hit it with a hammer in the driveway and drive back and forth over it with the minivan in a vain effort to make it useable. Never worked, but I'm sure the neighbors got a laugh.

Thanks :o)

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I use them for hot cider, mulled wine, etc. I don't grind them. From Penzeys:

"For cinnamon sticks, the upper branches are carefully cut and the inner bark removed, which curls naturally into quills. Cinnamon sticks are attractive and uniform, but relatively low in flavor. For ground cinnamon, large chunks are removed from the lower, older bark, which is stronger and more flavorful."

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 9:56AM
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I also used them for hot "cider" but I put them in apple juice. And sometimes in savory dishes like a rice caserole... add like a bay leaf and remove with done.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:13AM
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I wouldn't try grinding with the grocery store cinnamon that is really Cassia and the Penzey Cassia cinnamon. Grinding the Cassia cinnamon sticks is a pain because the bark can be so thick and hard that even breaking it into pieces to go into a grinder is a pain. And as you have found, it needs a pretty strong grinder once broke up.

But the true Ceylon cinnamon bark is much thinner and softer. I can easily break it up with my fingers and then finish the job with a mortar and pestle. And it seems about as flavorful as the ground stuff - possibly because once a spice is ground it starts losing flavor.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:16AM
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Cinnamon sticks, in my house only get used in things like simmering potpourri. Because....
A lot of years cold winter's evening I was getting one of those awful ickky, achy, snuffley, coughing things...I couldn't sleep.
So I made myself a hot toddy....teaspoon of sugar a couple of cloves a cinnamon stick and a wedge of lemon, about an oz of brandy in a coffee mug and fill the mug with boiling water. Snuggle in a blanket, turn the lights down, sip the toddy and watch mindless TV until the cough slows and you get sleepy. DH went to bed and I said I'll be up when I finish this......
Well it tasted good....the throat was feeling better.. the lemon was steeping in the hot liquid, the cinnamon stick was uncurling and releasing it's flavor and I tipped the mug to get the last of it....and something soft hit my lips! I snapped on the light and looked into my mug and there was a big dead cockroach!!
I can only think it was inside the cinnamon stick and when the boiling water caused it to uncurl and release the cockroach....
No cinnamon stick in any hot beverage ever again for me!
Linda c

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:19AM
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Oh boy Linda, I'm throwing these cinnamon sticks away before I even open them LOL

That's why I asked this question... I remembered reading somewhere a long time ago that the stuff they make cinnamon sticks isn't from the same part of the three as the ground cinnamon comes from... but then I couldn't remember if I had really read that or if I just dreamed it!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Fori is not pleased

Thank you, Linda.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:23PM
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    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:25PM
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Ewww, I am getting major heebie-jeebies. The only good thing about TX roaches is that they are way too big to fit into cinnamon sticks.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:42PM
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Fori is not pleased

Texas has the best cockroaches!

When I first moved into my house in Texas, there was an old range with a clock, and stuck in the clock was a dead German cockroach. I saw plenty of American cockroaches, smoky brown cockroaches, oriental cockroaches, and even a gorgeous green one when I lived in Texas, but I never saw a live German cockroach. Just the one in the stove. I have a nice display case of Texas cockroaches, but I never did get to pin a German...I think that's probably a good thing. They really get into stuff more than the big ones. Probably even cinnamon sticks!

mmmmmm grosssssss

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 1:09PM
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fori, you have a roach display??? I hope it doesn't hang in your dining room. :o)
I've never seen small roaches around here, just the huge flying ones which, thankfully, mostly live outdoors. If they do wander in, our kitties take care of them. :o)
Twice, I've seen Pale-bordered Field Roaches on the roses. They are quite pretty for a roach.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 1:36PM
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I use mine for cider and in my cranberry sauce.

Linda, that is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time! I'm sorry, I'm sure that was disgusting at the moment (and a memory that won't disappear, I have a few of those) that it happened but you have to laugh about it now don't ya?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 1:50PM
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Bobby, use them as a simmer scent...on the stove top!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:01PM
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Linda Mathewson

If you're a coffee drinker, break off a small piece (unroll) of the stick and put it in with the ground coffee before brewing.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:32PM
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I was having my morning coffee with a bit of a hangover when I read the roach story. I really nearly heaved!

In Tucson, Arizona the roaches are 1-2 inches long and they can fly.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:53PM
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This roach was about 5 inches long....really! At least it seemed that big!
In reality it was a little over an inch.

I also remember a time of "bugs in the paprika" and to this day I never use paprika that I don't shake a little into my hand to be sure it's not moving.
Seems there were tiny red bugs that looked just like paprika, until they moved.

And there was the time I picked up shells on the beach and then put them into a pretty dish in the center of the table, and they crawled out...I think if we had left leftovers on the table we'd have had them feasting on them.
And some people worry about pantry moths....
Linda c

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 5:14PM
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Oh. . .we're back on cinnamon sticks.

I wondered about the appeal of roaches in cider and cranberry sauce, in coffee, simmering on top of the stove.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 10:25AM
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