Native to Sri Lanka, Ceylon cinnamon is also known as "true cinnamon", "real cinnamon" or "Mexican cinnamon". Ceylon Cinnamon is so deeply woven into the fabric of the Sri Lanka region that the botanical name of the spice - Cinnamomum Zeylanicum was heavily influenced from the island's earlier name, Ceylon.
Ceylon cinnamon's flavor is quite different from the better known cassia cinnamon. Unlike the spicier, bolder cassia cinnamon, ceylon cinnamon features a deeply complex yet subtle flavor. Throughout Europe and Mexico Ceylon is also the preferred cinnamon. In Mexico it is referred to as "canela". Ceylon is the cinnamon that is usually called for in spiced peaches or pears, in pickling and in the brewing of hot cocoa.
Cassia cinnamon is harvested throughout China and Southeast Asia. Cassia cinnamon is known as Chinese cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon (also referred to as Saigon cinnamon) or Indonesian cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon subtler flavor is owed to its lower concentration of cinnamon oil (generally 1-2% by weight) while Cassia cinnamon typically comes in at 2-6% by weight.
Our Ceylon cinnamon is harvested in Sri Lanka where the significant rain and tropical climate provides ideal growing conditions. The highest quality of Ceylon cinnamon is grown along the coastal belt of the Negombo district, just north of Colombo.
Before Ceylon trees can produce a high enough quality of cinnamon they must reach at least 3 years of maturity. Ceylon bark is harvested twice a year and this always occurs right after each of the two rainy seasons as rain-soaked bark is easier and quicker to remove from the trees.
Cinnamon has some well known medicinal benefits. Dr. Richard Anderson, the leading scientist at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center has found that some cinnamon compounds may improve the body's ability to process insulin which improves blood glucose levels. These findings hold great promise especially for those with diabetes.
Ceylon cinnamon is usually the preferred cinnamon of choice in dishes where there aren’t multiple powerful flavors competing with one another. Ceylon is favored by discriminating cooks in dishes like cinnamon ice cream, custards, dessert syrups, Dutch pears, steamed pudding and stewed rhubarb.
Ceylon cinnamon balances well with vegetables and fruits such as carrots, onions, spinach, apples, apricots, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.
Ceylon also partners well with the spices allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and ginger.
If you're a true fan of cinnamon then you may also be interested in our wide selection of cinnamon powder that includes Vietnamese cinnamon (a.k.a. Saigon cinnamon) and Korintje cinnamon.
You'll also find a nice selection of cinnamon sticks - Korintje cinnamon sticks (2-3/4" long), Ceylon cinnamon sticks (3" long) and Saigon cinnamon sticks (2-3/4" long).
Some of our favorite savory recipes using Ceylon are Lean Ground Beef Chili.
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