Mine Came Out Bitter - Advice?

Mine came out bitter. Maybe my cinnamon sticks were too long? Or the pineapple peels weren’t done right? What would you recommend to fix it?

Aditi
  • Posted by: Aditi
  • September 16, 2020
  • 200 views
  • 2 Comments
Arroz con Piña
Recipe question for: Arroz con Piña

2 Comments

Lori T. September 17, 2020
You actually have two things that could bring bitterness to the mix - the pineapple and the cinnamon sticks. Pineapple contains an enzyme which tastes bitter, although it's usually inactivated by cooking. Cinnamon, though, gets bitter the longer it gets cooked, and some varieties are more guilty of that than others. I suspect, with a 25-30 minute cook time, it was the cinnamon to fault. I generally don't simmer a cinnamon stick for more than 15 minutes, just to avoid that. At any rate, there's also some confusion now about what "real" cinnamon is. Real, or true cinnamon comes from Ceylon, then there is a type of cassia from Vietnam, known as Saigon cinnamon. There is also a cheaper type from Indonesia, and a Chinese type. The Indonesian sort is the kind found most in supermarkets, as generic cinnamon. You have to look at the label to see where yours came from. I suspect it was Indonesian. It's not "bad", it's just not great for cooking purposes, because the longer it gets cooked, the more bitterness it gives off. Not bad for cookies, not so great for simmering for drinks. If you want to try to salvage what you have now, try a pinch of salt. Just a small amount often helps counter the bitter flavors, and accents the others.
 
Lori T. September 17, 2020
You actually have two things that could bring bitterness to the mix - the pineapple and the cinnamon sticks. Pineapple contains an enzyme which tastes bitter, although it's usually inactivated by cooking. Cinnamon, though, gets bitter the longer it gets cooked, and some varieties are more guilty of that than others. I suspect, with a 25-30 minute cook time, it was the cinnamon to fault. I generally don't simmer a cinnamon stick for more than 15 minutes, just to avoid that. At any rate, there's also some confusion now about what "real" cinnamon is. Real, or true cinnamon comes from Ceylon, then there is a type of cassia from Vietnam, known as Saigon cinnamon. There is also a cheaper type from Indonesia, and a Chinese type. The Indonesian sort is the kind found most in supermarkets, as generic cinnamon. You have to look at the label to see where yours came from. I suspect it was Indonesian. It's not "bad", it's just not great for cooking purposes, because the longer it gets cooked, the more bitterness it gives off. Not bad for cookies, not so great for simmering for drinks. Your pineapple can be bitter, due to an enzyme it contains in both flesh and skin- but cooking inactivates it, and since this is cooked for some 25-30 minutes, I don't think that's your source. If you want to try to salvage what you have now, try a pinch of salt. Just a small amount often helps counter the bitter flavors, and accents the others.
 
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