|Vietnamese cinnamon, Cinnamomum loureiroi, is also known as Saigon cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia. Vietnamese cassia is native to mainland Southeast Asia and is closely related to other Cinnamomum cassia such as Cinnamomum burmannii (better known as Indonesian or Korintje cinnamon) and Cinnamomum aromaticaum (often referred to as "Chinese cinnamon"). The other genus of cinnamon is Cinnamomum zeylanicum (called Ceylon cinnamon or “true cinnamon”). The term "cassia" is never used when referring to Ceylon cinnamon.
Why Vietnamese Cinnamon
Vietnamese cinnamon comes from the bark of an evergreen cassia tree that grows naturally in the high mountainous regions of Northern and Central Vietnam. The term “Saigon cinnamon” is inaccurate, as this cassia does not grow in or around Saigon (which is located in southeastern Vietnam), but it has been marketed with the name “Saigon Cinnamon” for years and the name has stuck. During the Vietnam War era exports of Vietnamese cassia was halted for almost 20 years.
Vietnamese cinnamon is considered by most cinnamon and cassia aficionados to be the most aromatic of all the cinnamons. The cinnamon oil content of our Vietnamese Cinnamon Powder is very high at 4%-6% which makes the flavor outstanding and leads many bakers and chefs to call this particular variety the best cinnamon you can get. By comparison, the most common cinnamon used in America is the cassia cinnamon from Indonesia (known as Korintje cinnamon) which has an oil content of 2%-3%.
When and Where to Use
Our Vietnamese cinnamon is highly prized among bakers and chefs for the high level of flavor that it brings to a variety of breads, cakes, cookies, dumplings, ice cream, pastries, pies and puddings. You’ll also find it in other more savory dishes as well – chutneys, pickles, meat glazes, soups, stews, squash and even vinegars. It’s also an outstanding enhancement to hot drinks like coffee, cocoa, cider and tea. We even have some Microbrew customers who use cinnamon in their beer.
Vietnamese Cinnamon works well in combination with fruits like apples, apricots, blueberries, cherries and oranges and vegetables – especially carrots, onions and spinach.
Cinnamon combines well with other spices such as allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
The high concentration of
aromatic oils gives Vietnamese cinnamon its signature robust and
concentrated sweet cinnamon flavor. Some describe the taste of
Vietnamese cinnamon as being similar to that of “red hot” candy.
Korintje and Chinese cassia tends to be much more subtly sweet and pales
in comparison. Vietnamese cinnamon is highly sought after by savvy
bakers and cooks throughout the U.S. as the higher cinnamon oil content
allows the cinnamon taste to more completely disperse throughout your
baked goods, giving them a sophisticated cinnamon flavor.
While our Vietnamese
Cinnamon is grown and harvested in Vietnam, it is milled in the US to
provide the freshest product. When baking or cooking with Vietnamese
cinnamon, you should only use a very small amount (depending on how
fresh it is) to achieve the flavor you would normally get when using a
larger amount of other cassia or cinnamon.
We also carry Vietnamese Cinnamon Sticks, Korintje Cassia Cinnamon Sticks and Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks.
Some of the most searched recipes using cinnamon are Punjabi Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Jerk Chicken
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