Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
Organic Ceylon ("seh-LAHN") Cinnamon Sticks, Cinnamomum verum, are also called Ceylon cinnamon, canela cinnamon sticks, or canela sticks.
Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks have an essential oil content of .5% - 2.0%.
What Is Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks have a soft and flaky bark that is lighter in color than Cassia Cinnamon, which is more familiar to most Americans. Ceylon Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, an island nation just south of India that is formerly known as Ceylon. Ceylon is the preferred cinnamon in England and Mexico. Also known as canela, true cinnamon, or real cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is usually sold in quill or stick form.
The original botanical name for this tree, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, is derived from Sri Lanka's former name, Ceylon.
History of Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon Cinnamon originated in the central highland rain forests of Sri Lanka, where several other varieties of cinnamon can be found, but are far less populous. Cinnamon was one of the first known spices, with its use dating back to remote antiquity. The practice of mummification began in Egypt in 2400 BC; it's believed that cinnamon and cassia were incorporated into this ritual by 2000 BC, along with anise, cumin, and marjoram. From the Ptolemaic Kingdom (305 BC - 30 BC) onward, Ancient Egyptian recipes for kyphi, an aromatic incense burned in temples to purify the air, included cinnamon and cassia.
Largely due to Alexander the Great's conquest of Asia Minor (334–333 BC), the Mediterranean region was able to gain access to many Eastern spices. During Medieval times (500 AD - 1500 AD), practitioners of medicine would use cinnamon to treat coughs, hoarseness, and sore throats. During this time, cinnamon was also one of the spices used to preserve meat, alongside black pepper.
Because of its popularity, cinnamon crops were heavily guarded and kept secret by Arab traders who spread stories about giant, violent birds making their nests from cinnamon sticks to try and deter people from seeking out the spice for themselves. This story, along with some other tall tales, largely kept other spice traders away from cinnamon trees and helped the Arab spice merchants keep their monopoly on the spice trade in general until around the 1400s AD. The Persian cosmographer and geographer of Arab ancestry, Ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini, had the first mention of Ceylon Cinnamon in his Monument of Places and History of God's Bondsmen which was written around 1270 AD.
From the 8th until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice was a formidable maritime power and a key player in the Eastern spice trade. Venice, along with the Republic of Genoa and the Byzantine Empire, controlled much of the spice trade into the Mediterranean region. By the late 1490s, Queen Isabella of Spain commissioned several explorers to bypass this spice monopoly and find alternative sea routes to bring spices back to Spain. Some of these explorers were Christopher Columbus and Gonzalo Pizzaro, both of whom were unable to find cinnamon, as they went in the wrong direction and travelled to the New World in the west instead of toward India.
In the 1510s, Portuguese traders found the source of Ceylon Cinnamon and set themselves up to dominate the trade. They struck a deal with the Kingdom of Kotte, a Sinhalese kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 14th and 15th centuries, to import Ceylon Cinnamon. This allowed the Portuguese to control the Ceylon Cinnamon supply for a time, but their exploitations of the resource and monopolization of the market with inflated prices created resentment among western Europeans. By 1659, the Portuguese had been expelled from the coastal regions of Ceylon after they were challenged by the Dutch East India Company. They were a huge competitor in the spice market, looking to secure their own the monopoly over cinnamon. Cinnamon quickly became the most profitable spice for this company. The British eventually took over the trade from the Dutch in the 1700s, but by the 1800s, cassia cinnamon was becoming more popular as it was less costly, so the heated demand for Ceylon Cinnamon eventually crumbled.
Ceylon Cinnamon Cultivation
In Sri Lanka cinnamon is grown in conditions ranging from semi-dry to wet zones with soils as diverse as silver sand to loamy, gravelly soils. The ideal temperature for growing Ceylon cinnamon is 68° - 86° with average annual rainfall between 50 and 100 inches. Cinnamon does not grow as well in the drier low-country but thrives in the forest at 1000 - 1150 feet above sea level.
Cinnamon plants are grown as bushes and are kept at a height of about 6 feet. Once the bushes reach two years of age, they are ready for harvesting. Depending on the rainfall 2-3 crops are harvested annually. Shoots that are deemed mature for harvesting have their side branches removed about 12 weeks before harvesting. Mature shoots are cut back to a height of about 1/4" above the base with an inward cut that promotes sprouting on the outside of the stump for future shoots.
The bark is easy to remove immediately after the rainy season. Harvested sticks are transported to the peeling shed where experienced peelers remove the bark in two equally long halves. The quills are dried in the shade for 4-7 days. At that point the quills are then bundled and sent to exporters for grading.
90% of Ceylon Cinnamon is grown in Sri Lanka, but it is also cultivated in Mexico, South America, Madagascar, India, and on an island east of Africa and the north of Madagascar called Seychelles.
Where Is Our Organic Ceylon Cinnamon From
What Does Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Taste Like
Deeply complex, subtly sweet flavor reminiscent of citrus and cloves, with a nice warmth.
What Is the Difference between Cinnamon and Ceylon 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 bush or tree into a form that curls, known as sticks or quills. Both are used in cooking either ground or as whole quills (aka sticks).
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 than Cassia 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, 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 little demand, and a very limited supply.
The “best” type of cinnamon depends on the flavor profile you are trying to obtain. Ceylon is the choice if you want cinnamon that’s delicate, with a citrusy-floral aspect to lighten the woodsy notes or you're making a traditional Mexican dish. Ceylon cinnamon is also the easiest to grind if you want to do that at home. Chinese Cassia cinnamon has straightforward, up-front cinnamon flavor. Vietnamese cinnamon is bold and more aggressive and is often preferred if you are making cider or baking cookies. 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.
How Do You Use Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
Ceylon Cinnamon is made of thinner bark that crumbles easily and is often ground into a powder. It is used frequently in English, Central American, Mexican, South American, and Southeast Asian cooking. Throughout Europe and Mexico, Ceylon Cinnamon is the preferred cinnamon while in the United States, we prefer cassia. In English cooking, Ceylon is found in sweeter dishes like fruitcakes, pastries, and stewed fruits. In Sri Lanka, it is a key spice for fiery hot dishes and in biryani. In Latin America, it's found in chocolate beverages and in Mexico it can be found in a variety of moles.
Cinnamon has been one of the most popular baking spices in many cultures for hundreds of years. Ceylon Cinnamon has a delicate, yet intense flavor that is ideally suited for breads, cookies, cakes, ice cream, pastries, cottage cheese and we also enjoy it in our morning oatmeal. Try making Watalappan, a traditional Sri Lankan dessert, but make it with Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks instead of the Cardamom with which it's normally flavored. Cinnamon Sticks are a terrific complement to hot drinks like cider, chai, tea, coffee and cocoa.
Ceylon cinnamon works best in recipes where there are not a lot of competing flavors, as it is a more delicate, nuanced, and complex flavor. It's favored for ice cream, custard, and pudding recipes. Try it with fruits like pears, apples, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.
It goes well with vegetables like carrots, onions, spinach, butternut squash, or parsnips.
Organic Ceylon Cinnamon pairs well with allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
What Is a Substitute for Organic Ceylon Cinnamon
You can substitute Organic Ceylon Cinnamon with Cassia Cinnamon at a 1:1 ratio for any recipe but beware that they do not share the same flavor profile so you may be in for a surprise! Cassia cinnamon is a little more intense than Ceylon and is often described as being the spicier of the two.
One 3" Ceylon Cinnamon stick = 1/2 teaspoon ground Ceylon Cinnamon.
|Ingredients||Organic Ceylon cinnamon|
|Also Called||Ceylon cinnamon, canela cinnamon sticks, or canela sticks|
|Recommended Uses||Biryani, breads, cakes, cookies, curries, fruitcakes, ice cream, moles, oatmeal, pastries, puddings, and stewed fruits|
|Flavor Profile||Deeply complex, subtly sweet flavor reminiscent of citrus and cloves, with a nice warmth|
|Oil Content||.5% - 2.0%|
|Botanical Name||Cinnamomum verum|
|Cuisine||English, Central American, Mexican, South American, and South Asian|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||6-12 months|
|Country of Origin||Sri Lanka|
|Dietary Preferences||Organic, Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 stick
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*