WHAT IS IT?
Korintje Cinnamon chips are used in spice pouches, or for other purposes where soaking the chips infuses the liquids with the spice.
The chips are a bit less expensive than committing to the sticks, which are fancy and for use in things where visual appeal is important. If you’re throwing these into a brine or a pressure cooker, do you really care what they look like?
It is one of the most common spices available around the world. It is a mild cinnamon, not big on aroma or flavor. Use where cinnamon is a background performer, and not a star.
Korintje Cinnamon comes from Indonesia, although it is now a growing export of Madagascar, which grows multiple forms of cinnamon.
- Pho Broth
- Vietnamese Coffee
- Leaf teas infused with cinnamon
- Mulling spice for wine
- Spice for “fireball” and other cinnamon-based liquor and liqueurs
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Add a sachet with cinnamon chips and lavender to noodles used in Kugel K2.0
- A staple of my basic Asian Pork Broth
- Jazz Chef Rockin’ Rock n’ Rye
- A little love for Bread and Butter Pickle brine
Korintje is not a true cinnamon. Like Saigon, it’s a form of cassia bark, a cousin to true cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is one of the few “true” cinnamons in the market. Cassia cinnamon was brought to Egypt around 500 B.C. where it became a valued additive to their embalming mixtures. The Greeks, Romans and ancient Hebrews were the first to use cassia bark as a cooking spice. They also made perfumes with it, and used it for medicinal purposes. The Judeo-Christian bible suggests that it was part of the anointing oil used by Moses. Cinnamon migrated with the Romans. It was established for culinary use by the 17th century.
All cinnamon contains coumarin, which provides cassia cinnamon’s aroma, but is mildly toxic to the liver and kidneys. One teaspoon of a cassia cinnamon powder, according to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BFR), contains 5.8 to 12.1 mg of coumarin, which may be above the tolerable daily intake value for smaller individuals. Which is why cassia bark is restricted in Europe. Of course, our fine lobbyists in America have kept any restrictions out of our health law, as cinnamon, most always cassia-based, is a staple of American breakfast cereals, baked goods, and other treats.
It is best to restrict your use of cassia-based cinnamon to periodic, and not daily consumption. Ceylon cinnamon is “true” cinnamon, and has very little coumarin.
- Cinnamomum burmannii
- Indonesian cinnamon
- Padang cassia
- Batavia cassia
This is the most easily found form of cinnamon, although not my personal fave. I would stick with Saigon (Vietnamese) Cinnamon because I like the broader aromatics and flavor, BUT it’s hard to find in chip form in North America, so Korintje becomes my go to for things that need steepin’ while I’m asleepin’.
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