And so to the question which has bugged me every time I've visited the US and which, on this month-long trip to Los Angeles, has finally got the better of me, that question being: what the hell is it with Americans and cinnamon? Or as I prefer to put it, BLOODY SODDING CINNAMON. They cannot get enough of the stuff. It is everywhere and on everything.
It's not just in the coffee shops, though it's bad enough there. You cannot move in Starbucks for cinnamon dolce frappuccinos and cinnamon dolce lattes and chocolate cinnamon bread, which are apparently such vital contributions to gastronomy they deserve to be trademarked. Then of course, there's the ubiquitous Cinnabon, which sells iced, syrup-drenched cinnamon rolls or, as I like to call them, type 2 diabetes in pastry form. A single outlet of Cinnabon can contaminate an area the size of Guildford with its ripe smell.
Cinnabon makes whole shopping centres smell of the stuff. (Worryingly branches of Cinnabon are spreading across Britain too.) It gets worse. I've visited American shopping malls which didn't have branches of Cinnabon and which still smelt of cinnamon because they were pumping it – or a chemical facsimile of it - into the air conditioning system.
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