Cinnamon seems like a pretty basic ingredient, right? Even university students and cottage pantries usually have a bottle of ground cinnamon on their otherwise empty shelves. You know all about it, right? Wrong. Turns out many people haven’t used real cinnamon even if they make cinnamon toast every morning.
Here’s the deal:
Cassia Cinnamon from Indonesia and Sri Lanka is what is most often sold in North American grocery stores. Some spice sellers call it baker’s cinnamon.
Saigon Cinnamon from Vietnam is also a cassia but it has more of the essential oil that makes this cassia more complex and cinnamon-y. As a result, it’s often more expensive than other cassias but still cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon.
Ceylon Cinnamon is the real deal. It’s lighter coloured than cassia cinnamon and the sticks have a finer, less dense and more crumbly texture. Somewhat paradoxically, it is often less pungent than cassia and has a more refined, mellow flavour and bouquet.
Looking for Ceylon Cinnamon in stores can be a frustrating task but I found it recently at Toronto’s The Spice Trader which also has an online store.
How do you feel about being duped all these years about cinnamon? I admit that I’m 63.7% bitter about it.
Photo credit: www.thespicetrader.ca