Cinnamon is sourced from the bark of various species of the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamomum is a tree farmed in much of Asia, though primarily in Indonesia, China, and Vietnam. The spicy and unique flavor, sweet aroma, and warm heat are derived from an essential oil called cinnamaldehyde.
To produce cinnamon, a tree is grown for about 2 years. Afterwards, it is chopped down to a stump, from which dozens of small shoots will spring up. The shoots are allowed to mature and thicken to about two inches in diameter. After the green outer bark is shaved off the inner bark is bruised and struck evenly until it releases from the heart of the wood. This inner bark is then removed in large sheets, cut into strips, and air-dried. These strips are then curled into quills of cinnamon that are then further dried in ovens or by baking them outside under the sun. After achieving a sufficient tan the quills are sent on their way to the world.
Vietnamese cinnamon is harvested from the species Cinnamomum loureiroi, and also goes by the name Saigon cinnamon. Vietnamese cinnamon is the strongest cinnamon due to a high essential oil content, of which 25% is cinnamaldehyde.
Due to this, Vietnamese cinnamon is the butt-kicker cinnamon of the cooking world. Bakers in particular, take note: This is the cinnamon you want for your spice cakes, cookies, and definitely in your cinnamon rolls. We also like a pinch added to a batch of ready coffee grounds or espresso powder before passing through the water to give the everyday cup a bit of pep.
Traditionally used in Chinese Five Spice Powder or Garam Masala, and Indian Spice Blend, cinnamon is a versatile and widely used spice. Great applications for this product include bread, cookies, drinks, cakes, puddings, curries, game, meat, vegetables, or stews.
All ingredients at Spice Enthusiast are packaged fresh daily and delivered to your door in a heat-sealed resealable Kraft bag for optimal freshness and shelf-life. Store your ingredients in a cool, dry place.