Counterpoint: Cinnamon rolls are good

The earliest known cinnamon rolls originate from Ancient Egypt. Cinnamon was used in their embalming process, followed by wrapping the body in cloth, meaning that a mummy could be considered a cinnamon roll. But let’s focus on the kind that tastes good.

The first modern cinnamon rolls are attributed to the Swedish in the 1500s. It became popular in Europe, eventually migrating to the United States, where the recipe underwent a few changes. Early American versions of the roll incorporated extra ingredients such as raisins, and Americans were the ones who came up with dolloping a giant layer of icing on top. The evolution of the cinnamon roll is emblematic to our national culture; if Americans aren’t dumping excess sugar onto everything in sight, they’re sticking raisins where they don’t belong.

So that explains how cinnamon rolls got to where they are today, but what explains how great they are? The answer is butter. And sugar of course. Anything that can clog an artery is bound to taste good. But unlike other treats, cinnamon rolls take it a step further, and incorporate a powerful spice. Its punch elevates many foods, both sweet and savory, not the least of which being delectable buttery pastries. The primary flavor chemical, cinnamaldehyde, is fat soluble, allowing it to seep into butter mixtures layered on the pastry dough, with sugar playing the role of tempering the potent heat of the cinnamon. It adds up to an irresistible flavor profile.
If the gluttonous American cinnamon roll overdoes the calories, you can pivot to the European style, where the sugar is a lot less heavy. In Sweden, cinnamon rolls are a cultural pillar, the center of their fika, the regular coffee and pastry break done with friends. Not only delicious, but also a force for social wellbeing. What’s there to dislike about a cinnamon roll?
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion on food. You have the right to be wrong. I will continue to enjoy being right, and enjoy one of the greatest pastries known to man.

Post Author: Isaac McGill