Ground Korintje Cinnamon
What Is Special about Korintje Cinnamon
Ground Korintje Cinnamon, Cinnamomum burmannii, is also called Korintje cinnamon, Indonesian cinnamon, or just Korintje.
Korintje Cinnamon has a minimum essential oil of 2.5%.
Sweet and smooth, with a distinctively woodsy flavor and a lingering fragrance that hints of cloves and pepper, Korintje cinnamon from Indonesia is the type of cinnamon that has been dressing up toast in the US for as long as we've had toasters.
What Does Korintje Cinnamon Taste Like
The high concentration of aromatic essential oils (typically 2-3%) gives Korintje cinnamon a potent and subtly sweet cinnamon flavor.
What Is the Difference between Korintje Cinnamon and Regular Cinnamon
Cinnamon falls into one of two primary categories: Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon. There are numerous similarities between the two. Both are harvested from the bark of a tree into a form that curls, known as sticks or quills. Both are used in cooking either ground or as whole quills.
Ceylon Cinnamon, also called true cinnamon or canela, is the more expensive and a harder to find type of cinnamon. Ceylon has a lighter, sweeter flavor and is the preferred type of cinnamon in Europe and Mexico.
Cassia cinnamon is what most Americans have in their spice cabinets and what is found in most grocery stores across the country. There are three primary types of cassia cinnamon —Indonesian Korintje, Vietnamese (sometimes referred to as Saigon), and Chinese — all with different levels of flavor, price points and availability. Indonesian cassia is the sweetest and most mild of the cassia cinnamons and is the most common in America. Vietnamese cassia is the most flavorful and is the preferred choice for cassia cinnamon aficionados. Chinese cassia has a strong, bitter flavor, very little worldwide demand, and is hard to find outside of China.
The “best” type of cinnamon depends on the flavor profile you are trying to obtain and personal preferences. Indonesian cinnamon is the sweetest and most approachable of the Cassia varieties and would be used if you will be making a savory Thai curry. Vietnamese cinnamon is bold and more aggressive and is often preferred if you are making cider, or baking cookies. Chinese cinnamon has straightforward, up-front cinnamon flavor. Ceylon is the choice if you want cinnamon that’s delicate, with a citrusy-floral aspect to lighten the woodsy notes or if you're making a traditional Mexican dish. Ceylon cinnamon is also the easiest to grind, if you want to do that at home.
How Do You Use Korintje Cinnamon
Korintje cassia cinnamon is used to bring a high level of sweet flavor to a variety of breads, cakes, cookies, ice cream, pastries, pies, and puddings. You'll also find it in more savory dishes as well such as chutneys, dumplings, 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 several of our larger Microbrewery customers who use cassia cinnamon in several of their beers.
Indonesian cinnamon works well in combination with chocolate, nuts and yogurt, fruits such as apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cherries and oranges and vegetables -- especially carrots, cauliflower, corn, onions, spinach and tomatoes.
Cinnamon pairs nicely with other spices such as allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
Some of our favorite recipes using cinnamon are Caramel Apple Pork Chops, Puya Chile Sauce, and Albondigas.
Be careful not to overcook as it becomes bitter.
What Is a Substitute for Korintje Cinnamon
You can substitute Korintje Cinnamon for other Cassia Cinnamon (i.e. Vietnamese or Chinese) at a 1:1 ratio for any recipe, but beware that they have subtly different flavor profiles.
One 3" stick = 1/2 teaspoon ground Korintje Cinnamon.
History of Cinnamon
Indonesian Cinnamon was first cultivated in Western Sumatra, in the region around the city of Padang1. The use of cinnamon can be dated back to almost 2800 BC where it was initially referred to as Kwai in the Chinese language. Cinnamon and Cassia were components of the anointing oil used by Moses as mentioned in the Bible2. As early as 2000 BC, essential oils from Ceylon Cinnamon were used in Egypt to perfume bodies for burial and as anointing oils. Ancient Romans burnt cinnamon in funeral pyres.
Arab traders brought cinnamon from Southern Asia to the Mediterranean, where it became popular in the Middle Ages (from the 5th to the late 15th centuries) as a luxury spice. This allowed the Arab traders to control the trade routes and achieve maximum profits3.
10th century Sinhalese literature (ethnic group native to the island of modern day Sri Lanka) describes the island’s cinnamon as being highly valued. The University of Colombo (Sri Lanka) historian Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri says that from the beginning of the 10th century, Arab merchants traded Sri Lanka’s cinnamon to Europe. In the 13th century, Sinhalese kings established economic ties with Egypt to export it4.
From the 8th until the 15th century, the Byzantine Empire (the eastern half of the Roman Empire) along with the Venice Republic and the Republic of Genoa were the key players in dealing with the Arab traders and controlled the spice trade once it moved into the Mediterranean region until the Arab trade routes fell under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks steadily increased their power and influence from the close of the thirteenth century to the second decade of the sixteenth. Their control would stretch north and south across the Levant from the Russian steppes to the Sudanese desert. By the 1450s they had effectively shut down the ancient and medieval trades routes between the West and East5.
Because of this trade route disruption, Europe's aristocracy — one of the biggest consumer groups of imported spices — was finding it increasingly difficult to find, let alone afford, their shipments of spices6. By 1492, Queen Isabella of Spain commissioned Christopher Columbus to find an alternative sea route to India to bring spices back to Spain7. He ended up in the Americas.
In 1497, Portugal’s King Manuel I sent Vasco da Gama on the same search for spices and in May 1498 he reached the coast of India at Calicut. Once the Portuguese had established a presence in India, they would eventually set their sights on Sri Lanka. What attracted the Portuguese to the ports of the Kingdom of Kotte, a Sinhalese kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 14th and 15th centuries, was cinnamon. While varieties of cinnamon grew in many parts of tropical Asia, they knew that the cinnamon from Kotte, was the best quality and would command the highest prices8. In 1518, the Portuguese struck a deal with the Kingdom of Kotte to import this cinnamon. By the late 1500s, the Portuguese were having trouble supplying enough spices to meet the increasing European demand and prices rose.
This motivated the Dutch to enter the spice trade and in 1599 they became the first to reach the Spice Islands (the Moluccas of Indonesia). In 1602 the United East Indies Company (known later as the Dutch East India Company) was created. The first permanent Dutch trading post was established in 1603 in Banten, West Java, Indonesia. The Portuguese were able to control the Ceylon Cinnamon supply until 1659 when they were driven from the coastal regions of Ceylon by the Dutch East India Company9. Quickly cinnamon became the most profitable spice for this company. A Dutch captain reported, “The shores of the island are full of it and it is the best in all the Orient. When one is downwind of the island, one can still smell cinnamon eight leagues out to sea10.”
The British eventually took over the island’s cinnamon trade from the Dutch in the 1700s, but by the 1800s, cassia cinnamon was becoming more popular as it was less costly, so the intense demand for Ceylon Cinnamon eventually crumbled.
Indonesian Cinnamon Cultivation
The best quality Indonesia cinnamon bark comes from light, rich sandy loam soil. Lesser quality cinnamon can be grown in andosol, latosol and organosol soil and on steep hillsides with soil that is stony and laterite. The ideal temperature for growing Indonesian cinnamon is 65° — 75°F with average annual rainfall between 80 and 100 inches. Cinnamon does not grow as well closer to sea level as the bark is thinner and of lesser quality. Cinnamon thrives in and along the edges of the forest at 1600 — 4200 feet above sea level11.
Cinnamon trees may be wild grown or managed on estates that are like forest plantations. The trees can reach a height of 65 feet. The tree is easily recognizable by the reddish color on the tip of its leaves and its white-grey stem12. This tree grows in Indonesia along the Bukit Barisan Mountain range, from Aceh, in North Sumatra, down through West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu, and Lampung 13. Kerinci regency, Jambi province has three districts that produce a high-volume of cinnamon bark. Cinnamon bark can be harvested from a cinnamon tree beginning around the tree’s fifth year. To harvest cinnamon bark, harvesters peel-off the outer bark to reach that good layer of inner bark. Harvesters in Kerinci cultivate the tree using two conventional methods. The first method is by peeling the bark of the tree, called santangan in the local language, without cutting down the tree. The peeling of the bark is commonly done in the rainy season (when it is more accessible to peel). To cultivate the bark from the tree they usually start at the bottom of the tree, and to get to higher points, they need to cut down the tree. The second method is clear-cutting, which means cutting the whole tree down and starting to peel from the upper part of the trunk and larger branches14. The older the bark the higher the quality. When clear-cutting the tree is felled at the height of eight to twelve inches from the ground. This allows for new shoots and future harvests.
The world’s largest producers of cinnamon are Indonesia (43% of the world's 2014 production), followed by China (33%), Vietnam (15%), and Sri Lanka (8%)15.
Where Is Our Korintje Cinnamon From
|Ingredients||Ground Korintje Cinnamon|
|Also Called||Korintje cinnamon, Indonesian cinnamon, or just Korintje|
|Recommended Uses||Breads, cakes, cookies, ice cream, pastries, pies, and puddings or in savory dishes such as chutneys, dumplings, pickles, meat glazes, soups, stews, and squash|
|Flavor Profile||The high concentration of aromatic essential oils provides a potent and subtly sweet cinnamon flavor|
|Oil Content||.2.0% - 3.0%|
|Botanical Name||Cinnamomum burmannii|
|Cuisine||American, Netherlands, and South Asian|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||6-12 months|
|Country of Origin||Indonesia|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
Hungry for More Information
1 Katzer, G. (n.d.). Spice Pages: Indonesian Cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii, Padang cassia). Gernot Katzers Spice Pages. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
2 Kawatra, P., & Rajagopalan, R. (2015). Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient. Pharmacognosy Research, 7(5), 1.
3 Schmidt, B. M., & Cheng, D. K. M. (2017). Ethnobotany: A Phytochemical Perspective (1st ed.). Wiley-Blackwell.
4 Rathnayake, Z. (2021, October 18). Harvesting ‘true cinnamon’: The story of the Ceylon spice. Food | Al Jazeera. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
5 Lybyer, A. H. (1915). The Ottoman Turks and the Routes of Oriental Trade . The English Historical Review, 30(120), 577–588.
6 Whipps, H. (2008, May 12). How the Spice Trade Changed the World. Livescience.Com. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
7 Years In Spain: Columbus Finds a Sponsor | Religious Studies Center. (n.d.). RSC. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
8 de Silva, C. R. (n.d.). Political and Diplomatic Relations of the Portuguese with the Kingdom of Kotte during the First Half of the Sixteenth Century. Instituto Cultural. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
9 The Rise and Decline of the Dutch East India Company. (2019, April 10). ThoughtCo. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
10 Mallick, A., & Ganapathy, P. (2021, May 9). Sweet wood. Deccan Herald. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
11 Ravindran, P. N., Nirmal-Babu, K., & Shylaja, M. (2019). Cinnamon and Cassia: The Genus Cinnamomum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Industrial Profiles) (1st ed.). CRC Press.
12 Menggala, S. R., & Damme, P. V. (2018). Improving Cinnamomum Burmannii Blume Value Chains for Farmer Livelihood in Kerinci, Indonesia. European Journal of Medicine and Natural Sciences, 2(1), 23.
13 Thangaselvaba, T., Joshua, J. P., & Jayasekar, M. (2009). Cinnamon—The sweet bark spice for flavor and fragrance: A Review. Agric.
14 Menggala, S. R., Vanhove, W., Muhammad, D. R. A., Hendri, J., Speelman, S., & van Damme, P. (2019). Sustainable Harvesting of Cinnamomum burmannii (Nees & T. Nees) Blume in Kerinci Regency, Indonesia. Sustainability, 11(23), 6709.
15 Misachi, J. (2017, September 18). World’s Top Cinnamon Producing Countries. WorldAtlas. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*