Categories
food and drink

Two Types of Cinnamon – You’ve Probably Just Seen One of Them

The rock hard ‘cinnamon’ sticks and powder version of it you find at the store are actually more properly said to be products of the cassia tree.
The main sources are typically in Southeast Asia.

The original cinnamon mostly comes from Sri Lanka and South India.
You can immediately tell the difference because its texture is papery and you can break it apart with your finger nails.
You can easily chew on it like candy and get a sweet rather than a fiery cinnamon flavor.

cassia and cinnamon
Left: ‘true cinnamon’
Right: Cassia

There is an easy way to get ‘true cinnamon’ in the States. Just go to the Mexican food section and get the cinnamon sticks there, it’s almost always the Sri Lankan stuff.

Even the cassia that’s available in most supermarkets is harvested young and thus of pretty low quality. The good cinnamon bark comes from older trees and you can gauge quality by its thickness.

Here’s some of the grade of cassia that I’m able to get from Chinese herbal shops in the states:

Big cinnamon stick

When making my own tinctures, I’ve used both species of cinnamon together. ‘True’ for the delicate and sweet, cassia for its fire.
Because it’s dense and woody, I find vodka doesn’t quite cut it. Everclear makes for a much better extract.

LINK

By Giovanni Dannato

In 1547 I was burnt at the stake in Rome for my pernicious pamphlet proclaiming that the heavens were not filled with a profusion of aether, but rather an extensive vacuum.
Now, the phlogiston that composed my being has re-manifested centuries in the future so that I may continue the task that was inconveniently disrupted so long ago.
Now, I live in Rome on the very street where I (and others) were publicly burnt. To this day, the street is known as what I would translate as 'Heretic's Way'. My charming residence is number 6 on this old road. Please, do come inside and pay me a visit; I should be delighted to spew out endless pedagoguery to one and all...

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