Most Westerners are used to Saigon cinnamon (also called cassia), which has the hot-sweet flavor that John Beaver, co-owner of Oaktown Spice Shop in Oakland, California, compares to Big Red chewing gum or Atomic Fireballs. But there is actually a wide range of cinnamon available, and one that Beaver's most excited about right now is Ceylon. Its aroma is zesty (think orange pekoe tea), and it has a lighter, less-sweet taste than Saigon cinnamon. Next time you're baking, use it in place of your usual cinnamon. You'll find the ingredient plays more of a supporting role than a dominating one, letting other flavors emerge, such as nuts, chocolate or other spices. Or try it in Black Plum Stew, which chefs Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban serve alongside caramelized pancakes; or in chef Haim Ben-Simon's unique spin on rugelach.
Get the recipes: Black Plum Stew and Rugelach
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