WHAT IS IT?
Ceylon Cinnamon (cinnamomum verum) is the “true” cinnamon. Most “cinnamon” products are cassia, a cousin of the cinnamon grown almost exclusively in Sri Lanka, which was formerly known as Ceylon. Ceylon cinnamon bark is difficult to harvest and roll, so it is also some of the most expensive in the world. It has some health benefits, though, which you may find worth the price.
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that brings the perception of sweetness without sugar. That is in part due to the coumarin that provides it the aroma. Lower in coumarin, it has less of a potency than cassia, like Saigon cinnamon. It is, however, much safer to consume, as a result (See health warning, below).
Sri Lanka produces 80–90% of the world’s supply of cinnamomum verum, with the remainder coming mostly from the Seychelles and Madagascar. The trees grow 10-15m or 30 to 50 feet tall!
- Key ingredient in Phở soup broth
- Vietnamese Coffee
- Roasted sausages (Cha Que)
- Vietnamese Spring Rolls
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Leave for me unless you have great ideas and then by all means.
Cinnamon has been one of the most prized spices in the world. The Chinese used cassia, true cinnamon’s cousin, going back to at least 2500 BC. True cinnamon was moved by traders to ancient Egypt, where it was considered a gift of the gods, reserved for the pharaohs, used in ceremony and most often in mummification of the dead.
All cinnamon contains coumarin, which provides cinnamon’s aroma, but is mildly toxic to the liver and kidneys. Ceylon cinnamon is very low in coumarin, and is therefore the most safe to consume with any regularity, or in quantity.
It is best to restrict your use cinnamon to periodic, and not daily or excessive consumption.
- True cinnamon
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