Different types of cinnamon will give your food different distinctive flavors. Moreover, they differ in origins, names, and characteristics. Are you sure that you understand all of these types? If not, continue to follow this article.
This post not only shows you basic information about these types of cinnamon but also provides you with some interesting things about them. If you want to decipher the popularity of this spice, this post will give you a hand.
Cinnamon And The Story Behind It
Cinnamon is an aromatic condiment that derives its flavor from the inner layers of the bark of many evergreen trees belonging to the Cinnamomum family. It is a popular spice grown throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.
After being gathered, the inner bark strips are dried before being folded into cinnamon sticks and cinnamon quills. After that, they can be processed into powder or extracted for easier uses.
As you know, cinnamon is most compared to nutmeg because they are often used interchangeably in many dishes. However, their flavors are very different. While nutmeg is subtle and pungent, cinnamon is sweet, sharp, and spicy.
Cinnamon’s sweet, sharp fragrance comes primarily from the pivotal ingredient of cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde.
This compound is one of the biggest reasons for making it become a highly appreciated condiment among many different spices in ancient times. People back then considered it to be worth the same as gold.
Cinnamon is used mostly in cooking and baking. It enhances the flavors of both sweet and savory foods. You will easily see this ingredient in several types of bread, cookies, and pies. Moreover, it is an excellent complement to teas, coffee, and meat.
Many people sometimes use other spices to replace cinnamon in some recipes; however, your dishes can’t get the best result as when you cook with cinnamon.
Not only famous for its function in various kinds of cuisine, but cinnamon is also prized due to its medical properties. It may help lower blood sugar and cholesterol in people with diabetes and cut the risk of heart disease.
However, you should use cinnamon in the right moderation. Consuming too much of this food that has a brown color can cause some health problems such as irritation, allergies, and respiratory problems. Therefore, you should consider the amount carefully before applying it to cooking.
3 Main Forms Of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is commonly available in 3 main forms: cinnamon powder, cinnamon sticks, and cinnamon chips. Let’s take a look at the information below for more details.
Cinnamon Sticks (Cinnamon Quills)
Cinnamon sticks or cinnamon quills are dried strips collected from the bark of cinnamon trees. Their crust will have 1 or more layers depending on the type of cinnamon. Furthermore, these layers will vary from thin to thick.
The applications of cinnamon sticks are very diverse. You can add a cinnamon stick to your alcoholic beverage as a beautiful type of garnish, stir it into hot cocoa, or use it to give a depth of flavor to your broth.
Cinnamon chips are small, cinnamon-flavored morsels taken from the cinnamon bark. They are very similar to chocolate chips and take the shape of dropped pyramids. You can find this product from apothecaries.
Otherwise, you can make them yourself by breaking cinnamon sticks into small pieces. Cinnamon chips are a friendly component in a variety of baked goods.
Don’t skip this ingredient if you are going to make several sorts of cookies, muffins, or pancakes.
Ground Cinnamon Or Cinnamon Powder
Cinnamon powder or ground cinnamon is actually a desiccated version of cinnamon sticks. You can buy them directly at herbal apothecaries or specialty spice stores. On the other hand, you can use an electric spice grinder or a mortar and pestle to grind cinnamon sticks.
However, you should remember that the flavor of ground cinnamon won’t be as strong as cinnamon sticks because ground cinnamon loses its potency as soon as it’s dried. You can utilize this ingredient in cooking, smoothie, or baking.
4 Types Of Cinnamon – How To Use Them For The Best Result
When mentioning different types of cinnamon, there is bound to be some confusion, right? This section is important since it will assist you in overcoming the challenge of naming these varieties of cinnamon in under 30 seconds.
|Characteristics||Ceylon Cinnamon||Chinese Cinnamon (Cassia Cinnamon)||Indonesian Cinnamon (Cassia Cinnamon)||Saigon Cinnamon (Cassia Cinnamon)|
|Origin||Sri Lanka||Southern China||Vietnam|
|Color||Tan-brown||Reddish dark brown||Lighter red-brown||Deep, dark red-brown|
|Flavors||Intensely sweet and spicy|
|Uses||Baked goods, etc.||Baked goods like cakes, cookies, muffins, etc.|| |
|Coumarin content||Low||High||Higher than that of Chinese cinnamon||Highest of all types of cinnamon|
Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum)
Ceylon cinnamon, also called true cinnamon, is a type of cinnamon originating from Sri Lanka. The word “Ceylon” comes from Sri Lanka’s previous British colonial name. Sri Lanka is also currently the leading country globally in terms of Ceylon cinnamon production each year.
Ceylon cinnamon is a product of the inner bark of Cinnamon Verum that is very popular in Europe and Mexico. It is thin and papery cinnamon that rolls up into numerous layers and is tan-brown in color. Ceylon cinnamon has a soft and fragile texture.
This ingredient also provides a delicate and mild sweet-spicy flavor with bright citrus and fruity notes. These outstanding characteristics make Ceylon cinnamon become one of the ideal pairings of vanilla, maple, and honey.
You can utilize Ceylon cinnamon to make various baked goods like pastries, cakes, and cookies. The taste it can bring will delight your taste magnificently. That’s also the reason why it’s very popular in the United States.
Packed full of antioxidants and an excellent source of minerals and vitamins, Ceylon cinnamon, offers some impressive health benefits. Some include reducing inflammation, lowering the risk of heart diseases, and controlling the blood sugar levels in your body.
This type of condiment also contains low coumarin content. For those unfamiliar with the term, coumarin is a flavoring substance. If you consume it too much, it will increase the risk of cancer and damage your kidneys and liver.
That doesn’t mean that you can freely use Ceylon cinnamon. Consuming it in large amounts or for a long period will result in side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
If you want to know the reason why Ceylon cinnamon is so expensive, check here for the answer.
Cassia Cinnamon Categories
Cassia cinnamon is the second type of cinnamon that is very popular in the world. However, if you think there is only one type of cassia cinnamon, you are mistaken. Are you curious about my words? This part will give you the answer.
1. Chinese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia)
Chinese cinnamon is a type of cinnamon originating in Southern China and made from the bark of the Cinnamomum cassia tree. It has a sweet, bitter, and pungent flavor that is considered stronger and less subtle than Ceylon cinnamon.
Chinese cinnamon is one of the most popular types of cinnamon in the United States and East Asia. With a thick and rough texture, it only forms one or a few layers when rolled up. The signature reddish dark brown appearance sets it apart from other types of cinnamon.
Although not as appreciated as Ceylon cinnamon, it offers several health benefits, such as preventing nausea and vomiting, increasing blood sugar uptake, and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
Like other types of cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon is only safe when you eat it in small to moderate amounts. Because it contains a high level of coumarin, it can cause you some health problems if you consume it too much.
Chinese cinnamon is a flavoring agent in food and beverages. It adds the right amount of spicy and sweet taste to many dishes, making it an ideal component for braised, stews of several kinds, and stir-fried dishes.
2. Indonesian Or Korintje Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Burmannii)
Known for the sweet and mild variety of cassia cinnamon, Indonesia Cinnamon comes from Indonesia and Southeast Asia. It is a product of the bark of Cinnamomum burmannii.
With a sweet and distinctively woody flavor, this cinnamon is necessary for many desserts like cakes, cookies, muffins, and cinnamon rolls.
Like other Cassia relatives, Indonesian cinnamon also has a lighter red-brown color and provides you with various health benefits. It is frequently marketed in neat quills with a thick coating. Its hardness can even damage your blender or spice grinder.
Indonesian cinnamon is also the most prevalent cinnamon in America because it is the cheapest type of cinnamon on the market. It is also the most approachable variety of the Cassia family.
However, the coumarin content in Indonesian cinnamon is considered higher than that of Chinese cinnamon. Therefore, you should use it in a small dose to ensure that it doesn’t cause unfortunate consequences for your health.
3. Saigon/Vietnamese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Loureiro)
Saigon cinnamon, also known as Vietnamese cinnamon, is also a type of cassia cinnamon that is intensely fragrant and flavorful. Originating from Vietnam, Saigon cinnamon has one thick layer, but it’s smaller and thinner than Chinese cinnamon.
Saigon cinnamon contains more cinnamaldehyde content than other varieties. Therefore, it has a stronger flavor and aroma than others. Moreover, it has an intensely spicy and sweet taste.
Coming in a deep dark red-brown color, Saigon cinnamon is always available in both stick and ground forms in any groceries or online. It is a good addition to enhance your baked goods’ flavor.
Furthermore, Saigon cinnamon is also an important ingredient in Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and other various sorts of beverages. Whether sprinkled over oatmeal or used in curries and marinades, it will delight your taste buds.
Saigon cinnamon also provides you with some amazing health benefits like other varieties of cinnamon, including helping to fight inflammation, fighting bacteria and fungus growth, and preventing clot formation.
Although Saigon cinnamon is very convenient and has numerous benefits, keep in mind that this variety of cinnamon has the highest coumarin content of all types of cinnamon. If you have kidney or liver difficulties, I recommend using it in moderation.
Cinnamon’s Shelf Life And Storage
Many people keep this condiment in their kitchen because of its versatility and excellent taste. However, how long will they last, and how should they be stored? Check this out now!
As you know, cinnamon is classified in the group of dry condiments, so you don’t need to freeze it to expand the shelf life like other ingredients. To maximize the shelf life of this component, you should place it in a cool, dark area, away from direct heat or sunlight.
For cinnamon sticks (unopened or opened), their shelf life can expand to 3-4 years if you place them in the pantry.
Under the same conditions as above, you can store ground cinnamon for 1 more year since the expiration date. This is very normal for powdered spices. However, it will lose its potency and flavor over time.
Cassia Cinnamon Vs. Ceylon Cinnamon: What Are The Main Differences?
It is obvious that there are only 2 main cinnamon categories, including Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon. They are both widely-used ingredients in many cuisines, like Asian, Mexican, American, and European cuisines.
But have you ever wondered about the core differences between them? In reality, it is hard to tell them apart when they are in powdered forms. But there are some dissimilarities when they come in the sticks.
Moreover, I will show you other features to differentiate them. Check the below table for more details.
|Features||Ceylon Cinnamon||Cassia Cinnamon|
|Another Name||True cinnamon||False cinnamon (but it does not mean that it is fake cinnamon)|
|In Stick Form||The bark layers are more delicate and are rolled and pressed together||Has firm and rolled-up layers of bark. |
Darker in appearance than Ceylon sticks
|Flavor||Tends to be lighter and sweeter than Cassia||Stronger than Ceylon and slightly bitter|
|Coumarin Level||Lower than Cassia, making it more well-loved||Higher than Ceylon|
|Price||Relatively expensive than Cassia variety||More affordable than Ceylon|
Recipes With Cinnamon You Shouldn’t Miss
If you have had a better understanding of cinnamon, don’t hesitate to give it a chance to provide you with a variety of meals and make your dishes more flavorful and delicious than ever. Take a look at the delicacies below right now.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie is one of the most healthy and luscious dishes for your breakfast. Cinnamon pairs well with oat and banana to create a creamy and satisfying smoothie. All you need to do is mix all the components in a blender. It is very easy, right?
Utilize your cinnamon to make Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie right now.
If you are a fan of coffee, don’t miss this recipe because it will delight your taste magnificently. Instant coffee crystals and ground cinnamon are the main flavor booster in this recipe. Trust me; Cinnamon Coffee Cookies are worth being present in your breakfast.
To make these Cinnamon Breadsticks, you need to prepare cinnamon, powdered sugar, pizza crust, and butter. The perfect combination of cinnamon and sugar gives your delight a strong and sweet flavor. If you want to please your tooth, try Cinnamon Breadsticks right now.
When it comes to recipes made of cinnamon, it is a must to talk about Cinnamon Rolls. Consisting of warm milk, instant dry yeast, butter, and cinnamon, these rolls are sweet and fluffy, with a creamy cheese frosting.
Follow this guide, and you will have delicious Cinnamon Rolls to enjoy.
Does The Difference Between Types Of Cinnamon Surprise You?
Cinnamon is one of the most popular condiments used in many dishes, from drinks to various desserts. While they are different in each type, they ultimately add delicious flavor to your delicacies and offer numerous health benefits if used in moderation.
A lot of people don’t know that cinnamon has many types. Therefore, you can share this article to let more people know about this useful knowledge. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or sharing about this post. Thank you for reading!
Table of Contents
- Cinnamon And The Story Behind It
- 4 Types Of Cinnamon – How To Use Them For The Best Result
- Cinnamon’s Shelf Life And Storage
- Cassia Cinnamon Vs. Ceylon Cinnamon: What Are The Main Differences?
- Recipes With Cinnamon You Shouldn’t Miss
- Does The Difference Between Types Of Cinnamon Surprise You?