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True Cinnamon Cinnamon spice is obtained from the inner bark of trees and shrubs belonging to the Cinnamomum genus, a category containing over 300 species. There are two species ofCinnamomum used as cinnamon spices, and the flavours vary accordingly. Cinnamomum verum (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is known as "true cinnamon" or Ceylon/Sri Lanka cinnamon, and the second variation is called Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia). True cinnamon or Ceylon /Sri Lanka cinnamon: While true cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka (the country produces 80-90% of the world's supply), Cinnamomum verum is also cultivated on a commercial scale in Seychelles, some parts of India, and Madagascar. Cassia or Chinese cinnamon: Cinnamomum cassia, known commonly as Cassia, originates in southern China and is widely cultivated in Southern and Eastern Asia (India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam). Cassia is relatively cheaper in price than true cinnamon and contains the highest levels of Couramin, a potential liver toxin. Common species of Cinnamon spice: • Cinnamomum burmannii - Indonesian cinnamon • Cinnamomum cassia (C. aromaticum)-Chinese cinnamon • Cinnamomum citriodorum - Malabar cinnamon • Cinnamomum verum (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) - (cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon, or true cinnamon) The barks, when whole, are easily distinguished, and their taste and aroma are also quite distinct. Please refer to table below to distinguish between True Cinnamon and Cassia. True Cinnamon releases its flavour in relatively higher temperature. For example, in hot tea its releases full flavour. Please note that sulfur free cinnamon has darker colour. True Cinnamon: Smooth and light aroma and flavor Sticks (quills), have many thin layers,Lighter brown color and Sweeter and smooth taste Cassia: Strong flavor (somewhat harsher) Sticks are much harder, Thicker and woody in texture, Medium to light reddish brown and Strong taste
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