What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice made from the bark of a plant called cinnamomum.
The inner barks are dried until they are rolled into a circle, called cinnamon rolls, or cinnamon sticks. They can then be pulverized or extracted.
The uniqueness of this spice comes from the essential oil and aroma of cinnamon, especially in cinnamaldehyde.
This substance helps cinnamon has its own flavor and aroma, while also contributing to creating many health values for cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon is made from the Cinnamomum cinnamon tree (scientific name is Cinnamomum aromaticum).
It is native to southern China, and is also known as Chinese cinnamon.
However, there are a few more cinnamon species currently grown widely in Southeast Asia.
Cassia cinnamon often has a thick crust with a deep reddish brown color. It also has a rougher, more textured texture than Ceylon cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon is said to be of low quality. It is cheap and is widely consumed worldwide. Most of the cinnamon you see in the supermarket are Cassia cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon has long been used in cooking and traditional medicine. About 95% of its essential oil contains cinnamaldehyde, giving it a characteristic spicy taste.
Ceylon cinnamon or “real cinnamon” originated from Sri Lanka and the southern provinces of India.
It is made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum verum.
Ceylon cinnamon is light brown and contains many fibers tightly wrapped together with a soft covering on the outside. These properties make it of high quality and characteristic texture.
Ceylon cinnamon is less common and has long been used as a cooking spice. It is quite expensive compared to the popular Cassia cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon has a sweet, gentle flavor and is suitable for desserts
About 50-63% of its essential oil contains cinnamaldehyde, which is slightly lower than Cassia cinnamon. This explains why its aroma and flavor are so mild.
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