Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The cinnamon of Red Hots and the cinnamon of Sara Lee

The oil that reacts with our heat receptors

Dear Matthew Alice: Why are cinnamon candies “red hot”? I have never thought the taste of a cinnamon roll or other baked good particularly eye-watering. — R.R., S.D.

Tastes that bludgeon our senses have always been popular, and the perp in the case of cinnamon is cinnamic aldehyde, the chief constituent of cinnamon oil. Like the essential oils in hot peppers, cinnamon oil reacts not only with our taste buds, but also with the sensory nerve endings that signal HOTHOTHOTHOT! (Mint reacts with our cold receptors.) Because cinnamic aldehyde is delivered in an oil, when you mix it with bread, milk, butter, or anything else that can absorb or dilute an oil, some of the edge is taken off the cinnamon jolt. (What’s the best antidote for a case of screaming jalapeno mouth? Water? No. Milk, or a tortilla. Same principle.) And obviously, the point of cinnamon Red Hots is to knock us for a loop, but I doubt that’s what Sara Lee has in mind when she whips up her buns, so she uses less flavoring to begin with. As a full-disclosure know-it-all, I must say that about 99 percent of everything sold in the U.S. as cinnamon is actually cassia, a taste-alike but cheaper relative of the true spice. It too contains cinnamic aldehyde, so it’s not a total rip-off.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Ellen Sturgis Hooper: cited as the most gifted of the Transcendentalist Movement

Ralph Waldo Emerson often commissioned her to write verse for The Dial
Next Article

Finding a different world inside Samarkand Uzbek Café

Don’t miss this overachieving tent restaurant tucked away in a City Heights parking lot

Dear Matthew Alice: Why are cinnamon candies “red hot”? I have never thought the taste of a cinnamon roll or other baked good particularly eye-watering. — R.R., S.D.

Tastes that bludgeon our senses have always been popular, and the perp in the case of cinnamon is cinnamic aldehyde, the chief constituent of cinnamon oil. Like the essential oils in hot peppers, cinnamon oil reacts not only with our taste buds, but also with the sensory nerve endings that signal HOTHOTHOTHOT! (Mint reacts with our cold receptors.) Because cinnamic aldehyde is delivered in an oil, when you mix it with bread, milk, butter, or anything else that can absorb or dilute an oil, some of the edge is taken off the cinnamon jolt. (What’s the best antidote for a case of screaming jalapeno mouth? Water? No. Milk, or a tortilla. Same principle.) And obviously, the point of cinnamon Red Hots is to knock us for a loop, but I doubt that’s what Sara Lee has in mind when she whips up her buns, so she uses less flavoring to begin with. As a full-disclosure know-it-all, I must say that about 99 percent of everything sold in the U.S. as cinnamon is actually cassia, a taste-alike but cheaper relative of the true spice. It too contains cinnamic aldehyde, so it’s not a total rip-off.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Claudia Gomez‘s sound showers with Trio Gadjo and Besos de Coco

“Playing again has lifted everyone’s spirits.”
Next Article

La Jolla Elementary alumni

Bruce Robinson, Fred Benedetti, Nickel Creek, Black Licorice, Rob Halford
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close