Autumn is here and all we want to do is cosy up beside a warm fire while enjoying some seasonal fall flavours.
When temperatures start to lower and leaves start to change colours, we know that autumn has officially arrived. It's our absolute favourite season, as we love chunky jumpers, hot chocolate and scarf season, but mostly we love the reintroduction of some of our favourite flavours.
First up is an all-American classic; cinnamon.
Why Is Cinnamon So Popular In Autumn?
The temperatures had barely dropped this year and Starbucks had already introduced its ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, of which the prominent flavour is cinnamon, alongside a multitude of other autumnal spices.
The perennial autumn drink is a huge seller for Starbucks every year, but why? Do people crave cinnamon in cooler weather or have we just become so used to a marketed idea that we actually believe we like the spice more at certain times of the year?
Surprisingly, according to a survey carried out by the University of Dresden Medical School, it turns out that we really do prefer spice flavours in cooler weather. The study was carried out on 100 people, who were asked to rate different smells in summer and winter, resulting in a preference for spicy aromas during winter due to their familiarity.
Historically, cinnamon was a very expensive spice, which meant it was used as a status symbol by the affluent in years gone by. As it was so inaccessible to the working classes, it was used very sparingly and usually only for celebratory purposes or festivals, like Hallowe'en, Christmas and Thanksgiving. As such, it seems that cinnamon has entered our psyche as a flavour that we associate with celebratory food, which usually pops up in cooler weather like autumn.
Cinnamon Flavour Pairings
While cinnamon was predicted to be especially popular in 2019 according to the Michelin Guide, we have always had a soft spot for this spice. There are so many ways to use cinnamon in cooking that we can't resist adding it to some of our favourite warming dishes, like this beef rendang or beef massaman curry. It's also very useful in a variety of different baked goods like this showstopping cinnamon wreath or this easy spiced pear tarte tatin.
Cinnamon is quite an easygoing spice as it works well with a lot of different flavours. If you're up for a bit of experimentation, some of our favourite things to combine cinnamon with are almond, squash, cherry, chocolate (of course), ginger, pork and watermelon.
Find more cinnamon recipes here.