Ceylon, Cassia, Saigon, and Korintje. One of these doesn’t belong. Or does it?
They all belong to the cinnamon family, but Ceylon cinnamon is unique. Due to its origins and exceptional health benefits enjoyed by those who include it in their diet, this cinnamon is one you really should try.
If you’re wondering, “what is Ceylon cinnamon?” and would like to try it before you buy (well, not literally), you’re in the right place.
Explore our mini-guide to this intriguing spice. We’re confident you’ll get as excited as we are over the many benefits of adding Ceylon cinnamon to your culinary, health, and wellness repertoire.
Cinnamon Has a Long History
Cinnamon is an ancient spice. Some say it was first cultivated more than 5,000 years ago in Asia. For centuries, savvy chefs used it in sweet, savory, baked goods, hot beverages, candies, and many other foods and recipes.
It’s one of the most versatile spices you can find.
People have used cinnamon for medicinal purposes for nearly as long as they’ve used it as a culinary spice.
While there are hundreds of types of cinnamon, the four mentioned at the beginning of this post are the only ones used for commercial purposes. Three of the four are classified as Cassia cinnamon. Cassia is the cinnamon found on grocery shelves.
Ceylon cinnamon is in a class of its own. It’s often referred to as true cinnamon.
What Is Ceylon Cinnamon?
When it comes to the different types of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon stands out in the crowd, yet it never takes center stage.
With a flavor that’s sweeter and more delicate than the other cinnamon varieties, Ceylon’s presence in a recipe is so subtle you may not even realize it’s been slipped into a dish. In contrast, Cassia cinnamon is bold and spicy – fighting for the starring role.
Unlike the other four cinnamon types here, Ceylon is not native to the Asian continent. It originates from the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka.
Ceylon cinnamon is one of the most sought-after cinnamon types, with demand far exceeding supply. There are two primary reasons for this:
- Significant decline in production
- Labor-intensive harvest
As a result, prices have skyrocketed, with demand far exceeding supply.
Ceylon cinnamon is also unique because it contains more of the beneficial antioxidant Cinnamaldehyde than any other variety of cinnamon.
A True Treasure from the Ancient World
When a spice can serve more than one purpose, it becomes more than just a spice. It’s a treasure!
No one can argue that adding cinnamon to a recipe creates a complex yet subtle dance of flavor. When you use Ceylon cinnamon to make teas and tisanes, you’re helping to provide your body with a natural source of antioxidants.
Ceylon cinnamon contains more Cinnamaldehyde than any other type of cinnamon. It also has much lower amounts of coumarin – a substance that can cause problems with your liver.
While coumarin occurs naturally in cinnamon, the level in Ceylon cinnamon is only about 0.03-0.04% vs. the 0.4-0.8% found in Cassia cinnamon.
For that reason alone, it’s wise to consider seeking out Ceylon cinnamon over the more common varieties. However, there are even more Ceylon cinnamon benefits than we can fit in this miniature guide.
Time to Find a Ceylon Cinnamon Store
We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring a highly sought-after spice that has its roots in the ancient world. When considering the question, what is Ceylon cinnamon? You’ll also want to consider finding a source for this extraordinary spice. A place where you can not only purchase but find Ceylon cinnamon tips to help you maximize your enjoyment.
Please check out our archives for more helpful articles on both common and unique spices and food products.