A bark you need to bite

The artwork has been done by the author  of the article

Name some of your favourite dishes in the world and you’ll find a warm, spicy sweet and familiar fragrance and flavour that brings a smile to your face and many health benefits to your body. 

Hello Cinnamon!

One of the highest in antioxidants and the queen of my spice world, Cinnamon is the inner bark of an evergreen tree that grows mainly in the Malabar coast of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh,Myanmar and Indonesia.

Thin strips of this bark are tightly hand-rolled like cigars and sun dried into beautiful long quills. They are sweet and mild in flavour. After watching this time consuming process in Sri Lanka I could never again bring myself to just break a cinnamon quill without appreciating the loving work these harvesters put into each perfectly hand-rolled quill.


An image clicked by the author 

As my friend rightly said. When you actually make or watch a product being made, there is a lot more appreciation and less criticism for what is and it’s price rather than when you just buy it off the shelf.

So what about that thick bark you’ve been picking up from the supermarket?

Used mostly in savoury dishes Cassia comes from the Cassia tree. This cheaper stronger variety is the more popular find all over the world. Nothing wrong with it, but it always better to investigate into where your ingredients come from and buying good quality and local if available, is always the best move. Like most ingredients in our world, cinnamon has its place  and is to be consumed in moderation. Health fads begone! 

Savoury or sweet?

Think breakfast and you’ve can add it to cereal, yogurts, toasts, pancakes,etc.

Lunch /dinner and you’ve got curry’s, stews, roasted vegetables, roasts, soups, rice dishes, biryanis, couscous, etc.

Desserts! It’s more like -Where do I stop? …..

Deliciously warm cinnamon rolls, sweet breads, poached fruit, cakes, baklava, meghli, cookies, etc.

Add it to drinks like mulled wine and cider, tea and coffee, smoothies or that warm glass of milk just before bed. The Ancients Mayans and Mexicans today use it wisely in their chocolate drinks, chocolate mixes and Mole.*

In spice blends (Chinese 5 spice, Garam masala, Sri Lankan  curry powder, Ras el Hanout) or preserves, marmalade’s, pickles, jams and fruit jelly.

So store it wisely in a tightly closed jar away from the sun, buy only what you need and powder it freshly when required. And if you ever get tired of consuming it in food (which I doubt is very likely to happen) burn some cinnamon oil in your home or find out how it’s used to deter pests in the garden or gift it in a simply decorated jar to a loved one.

* Mole is a traditional marinade and sauce originally used in Mexican cuisine.

Cinnamon Puffs

Here is a recipe for Cinnamon Puffs.

140 gms plain flour.

3 tsp caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

200 ml milk

Roll in: A mix of caster sugar and  freshly ground cinnamon powder.


1. Heat a deep pan with a sufficient amount of oil to fry your cinnamon puffs.

2. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add your milk gradually until you have a fairly thick batter.

3. Once your oil is hot carefully plop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil. Fry till they turn a lovely golden brown. Make sure your flame isn’t too high otherwise the outer skin tends to brown easily and the inner mix tends to remain raw. 

4. Drain these on a kitchen towel or an oven rack and toss in the caster sugar/ cinnamon mix.

Serve warm!

P.S: My little girl loves to eat them immediately sometimes topped with melted chocolate but if you have the patience and time you could even serve this over some warm spiced poached fruit and cold vanilla ice cream, topped with toasted crushed nuts(walnuts or pistachio).

You could even experiment with the mix itself.  Here are some suggestions.

Add a tbsp of melted butter/ 1 egg/ ginger and nutmeg powder/ vanilla essence/ maple syrup or honey / citrus zest [ orange or lemon]/ finely chopped fruit [ think apples or mashed bananas].

Whatever you decide to add make sure your mix balances and is not too dry or runny but just right.

You can follow me  – Instagram: @cheriillustrates @cheridafernandez  Email: [email protected]

Spread the love ♥

You might also like

6 thoughts on “A bark you need to bite”

  • Wendy Anne Chaves · Edit

    So neat! Love the artwork. When in Vienna – which seems like a lifetime ago – I had picked up tea towels with recipes printed on them. When I saw this post, this immediately came to mind. The design is perfect to be printed on a tea towel and would make the loveliest gift for someone who loves to cook. Thanks for sharing, Fr Warner.

  • Cant wait to try out.
    But in the meantime,
    let me say that I just
    loved the artwork…would love to take a printout and hang in my kitchen as decor.

    On a medicinal note…Cinnamon is also good for Diabetes.

  • Cant wait to try out.
    But in the meantime,
    let me say that I just
    loved the artwork…would love to take a printout and hang in my kitchen as decor.

    On a medicinal note…Cinnamon is also good for Diabetes.

    thanks and have a gr8 day !!!

  • cant wait to try out.
    but i must say the artwork is fantastic. i would love to take a printout and frame, to hang in my kitchen.
    would also like to add that medicinally, cinamon extrenely effective for diabetes.
    thanks and have a gr8 day.

  • Thank you Fr. Warner for sharing this lovely post by Cheri. She’s absolutely brilliant (as always) in this post. 😍
    Enjoyed visualising the beautiful flavours of cinnamon and the puffs!

  • Loved the simple recipe of cinnamon puffs, must try it out soon. Srilankan cinnamon is most authentic compared to what we get here. No doubt, this simple bark is medicinally of great value. Thanks Cheri and Fr Warner.
    Liked the way you mentioned to include this magic touch in breakfast, food, sweets and bakes


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *