Whole Ceylon Cinnamon: At a Glance
Ceylon cinnamon, also called cinnamon verum or true cinnamon, is a highly valued culinary and medicinal spice. It is a versatile, aromatic spice with many uses. Native to Sri Lanka, Ceylon cinnamon is rare and can be harder to find than its common cousin, cassia cinnamon.
Whole Ceylon cinnamon has a tan brown color and the rolls have a paper-like texture. This type of cinnamon has a stronger flavor and lower oil content than cassia cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon is derived from the bark of the cinnamomum zeylanicum tree. It can be broken up into cinnamon chips, pounded or blended, to make ground cinnamon. With a delicate, sweet and subtle flavor, Ceylon cinnamon is excellent for pastries, cakes and desserts.
In addition to being used in baking and cooking, cinnamon has been tauted for its health benefits. With its low content of coumarin, a naturally occurring blood-thinner, Ceylon cinnamon is recommended for regular use and may contribute to correcting blood sugar levels.
Cooking with Whole Ceylon Cinnamon
Having whole Ceylon cinnamon at home means you can freshly grind your own cinnamon powder whenever you need it. It can also be used whole and steeped in stews, hot beverages or meat dishes, and removed before serving. It has a noticeable spicy-warm flavor that complements other spices like cloves and cardamom.
Ceylon cinnamon is found in many recipes, both sweet and savory. It is used to flavor desserts (such as cakes, cookies, pastries and pies) and main dishes (such as curries and meat).
Recipes that incorporate whole Ceylon cinnamon include:
- In hot beverages: Variations can be found throughout the world, from cinnamon-infused coffee, to wassail punch, to spiced apple cider, combining ingredients like apple juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange for a warm and satisfying beverage.
- Roasted with meat: Slow cooked with beef, red wine and Chinese five-spice, cinnamon quills add spice to slow-cooked cinnamon beef.
- In desserts: In custard or flan recipes, cinnamon sticks are simmered with milk to draw out their flavor. Steeping whole cinnamon sticks can also enhance the flavor of rice pudding and other desserts.
It’s worthwhile to experiment with our whole Ceylon cinnamon’s many applications for cooking and health. Ceylon cinnamon also has traditional and modern health benefits. It is used to treat digestion, nausea, and other stomach issues. Scientists believe the oil content and cinnamaldehyde of cinnamon are responsible for positive effects on health and metabolism.
Whole Ceylon Cinnamon: History and Origination
The first historical reference to true or sweet cinnamon occurs in the New Testament of the Bible. While there are limited written records, ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as a preservative in cooking, in embalming, and as a medicinal ingredient, beginning in 2000 BC.
In the 13th century, the country that would become Sri Lanka, was recognized as the world’s best cinnamon source. Up until this point, it is believed, the origination of Ceylon cinnamon was kept secret from the rest of the world.
Ceylon cinnamon was introduced to Europe by Arabian traders. According to Roman and Greek records, elaborate tales were developed around Ceylon cinnamon to discourage competition. It was the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century that truly brought Ceylon cinnamon to the global market. Control of the cinnamon trade continued to evolve over time, moving from the Portuguese, to the Dutch, to the British.
The country of Ceylon was independent until 1972, when it became a republic and changed its name to Sri Lanka. Today, the trade of pure Ceylon cinnamon is mostly in the hands of local cinnamon exporters in Sri Lanka.
Cultivation of Whole Ceylon Cinnamon
The cinnamomun zeylanicum tree requires low altitude and wet, hot, tropical climates to thrive. These evergreen trees can grow up to 50 feet tall. They do best in places where the temperature ranges between 15 and 32 degrees Celsius.
Most of Sri Lanka’s cinnamon groves are concentrated in the country’s western and southern regions. The harvest of cinnamon occurs twice a year, after monsoon seasons. Trees are typically ready for harvest three years after planting.
To produce whole Ceylon cinnamon, the outer bark of the tree is peeled to reveal its softer, lighter, inner bark. This is dried into whole Ceylon cinnamon rolls, or quills. Traditional cinnamon peeling involves age-old tools and and specialized, skilled peelers. Quills are dried indoors on racks for up to a week.
Whole Ceylon cinnamon quills have just one loop, compared with cassia cinnamon which often resembles a scroll with two loops.
About Our Whole Ceylon Cinnamon
Our whole Ceylon cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka, the origin of Ceylon cinnamon. It has been grown and harvested there for generations.
Ceylon cinnamon, or true cinnamon, is the most valued and highly regarded form of cinnamon in the world. Our whole Ceylon cinnamon is authentic, pure Ceylon cinnamon.