Cinnamon Is My Salt

I put cinnamon in everything. I might need to lobby for the spice cabinet’s inclusion as a major food group, just to legitimize this obsession. Here is what I put cinnamon in or on top of:

  • Pancakes and waffles
  • French toast
  • Anything I bake: biscuits, scones, muffins, quick breads, cookies, brownies, pie crusts—if there’s flour, there’s cinnamon
  • Oatmeal
  • Hot chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Ground beef mixtures (here cumin might become the new cinnamon, but I’m a bit cumin-shy for now)
  • Applesauce (another too good to fail ingredient)
  • Maple syrup
  • Toast
  • Everything

The beginnings of my cinnamon liberality are a bit fuzzy to me now. If I had to hazard a guess, the root of all this might lie in my early troubles spelling the word (the m’s and n’s were tricky for a bit, okay?)—in conquering its spelling, it conquered me. The sheer paradox of cinnamon is its intoxication: complex, yet comforting; exotic, yet familiar. The best way I can describe cinnamon is with brownies. I put cinnamon in every brownie batter I make, whether I start from a mix or from scratch. Something about that brownie will be intriguing: you can’t tell what, but you want whatever it is. Cinnamon is the perfect distillation of that conundrum. It completes the hole you didn’t quite realize was empty. And it’s such a team player, it never even asks for recognition.


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