Cinnamon (whole and ground)
Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, which supplies 90% of the world's production; it is used in both sweet and savoury dishes across the world and even in tea and other drinks; cinnamon sticks are produced by taking shoots that form from the tree's roots, then discarding the outer bark and leaving the inner bark to dry out.
This is a popular spice that comes from the inner bark of a tree belonging to the laurel family. When whole, its design is exquisite: reddish-brown, brittle-layered curls that are hollow inside. Ground, it is used in home-baked puddings and desserts, and whole in fruit compôtes, mulled wines and curries. In Greek cooking a little cinnamon finds its way into savoury dishes, such as moussaka. There is something evocative in the smell of home baking when cinnamon is involved, as it reminds me of small bakery shops from when I was a child.
Click on the recipe to reveal Delia's favourite crumble topping - and a filling that would be particularly good at Christmastime, when mincemeat is definitely flavour of the month.
This inexpensive dish is a version of the famous Greek dolmades or stuffed vine leaves, given an English twist with minced beef but also true to the Mediterranean with the inclusion of cinnamon, marjoram and rice.
Crumble has to be one of the best desserts going, and it's so quick and easy to make, especially if you use a food processor to make the topping. This is a true classic…
This brilliant moussaka will give your guests the impression that you've been cooking for hours, when in fact - thanks to a raft of ready-made ingredients - all you've done is a quick assembly job.
Moussaka with a twist here, as Delia uses minced lamb to stuff aubergines in her own version of a Greek classic.