Saigon cinnamon, Cinnamomum loureiroi, is also known as Vietnamese 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.
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 as being 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 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%.
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.
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.
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.
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