The Ingredient That Will Change Your Favorite Meat Dishes Forever

As omnivores, humans consume a wide variety of foods from within the food pyramid to satiate our cravings. We enjoy the heartiness of meat just as much as the freshness of greens and fruits. Although veganism is on the rise, a 2021 study by Ipsos found that a whopping 89% of Americans include meat in their diet.

Thanks to the high demand for meat, there are endless options for meat-based dishes. From a deli sandwich to a simple chicken roast or a beef stew, as long as you have an imagination, you can turn a slab of meat into an unforgettable meal in no time. While there are countless innovative methods for preparing a carnivorous dish, there are also obvious, tried-and-true pairings that just downright work including lamb and rosemary, chicken and garlic, and steak and thyme, just to name a few.

But for the adventurous chefs and foodies of the world, there's one unsuspecting spice that can transform your favorite meat-based dish in ways you never thought possible!

Cinnamon can take your meat dish to new heights

In America, cinnamon is typically reserved for lattes, pumpkin pies, and other sweet delicacies. Rarely do we think of candied spice as an ingredient best fit for savory dishes. But cultures from all around the world have been infusing their meat-based meals with cinnamon for hundreds of years. Morrocan chefs add cinnamon to tagines, while Ethiopians use it for a spice blend called berbere. In the Middle East, the spice is used to flavor chicken and lamb (per Seattle Times).

According to My Recipes, adding a small amount of cinnamon to a marinade or spice blend adds a warm atmosphere to the dish that complements its fellow spices like paprika, cumin, or turmeric. Like sugar, cinnamon also caramelizes, which means that it can add a sweet buffer to the glaze of your chicken wings to add a sweet, crispy finish to cooked meat. Not only does cinnamon bring flavors together while simultaneously offering a delicate sweetness to a dish, but there are also many health benefits associated with the spice. Healthline reports that cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels, protect against cardiovascular disease, and is rich in anti-inflammatory properties.

Next time you're feeling bored of your go-to spice blend, add a dash of cinnamon and watch your dinner transform.