Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon
Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon
Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon, Cinnamomum loureiroi, is called "que" in Vietnamese. This is pronounced "kway," for those of us who don't speak Vietnamese fluently. This cinnamon is the most aromatic of the different types available.
This cinnamon is made up of 4% to 6% essential oil. The essential oil is what gives the cinnamon its intense, memorable flavor.
Vietnamese cinnamon is called "alqurfat alfiatnamia" in Arabic, "yuenan rougui" in Mandarin, "cannelle vietnamienne" in French, "vietnamesischer Zimt" in German, "shatal daalacheenee" in Hindi, "Betonamushinamon" in Japanese, "canela vietnamita" in Portuguese, "v'yetnamskaya koritsa" in Russian, and "canela vietnamita" in Spanish. It is also called Saigon cinnamon.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices in the world. Historically, spices were extremely rare because of their location in far away lands. Usually, only the wealthy could afford to import and purchase spices. Everyone else was forced to use whatever herbs and spices were indigenous to their area. Cinnamon was no different, acting as a status symbol for many wealthy consumers. There is evidence of some cinnamon trading being conducted between China and Egypt all the way back in 2000 BCE. Egyptians would use cinnamon in the embalming process. This spice was used as part of funeral rites in ancient Rome as well, including the funeral of Emperor Nero's wife in 65 AD. He is said to have burned a supply of cinnamon that would have lasted Rome an entire year when she was being buried. Funny thing to do after you bury the wife you murdered, but to each their own.
In the middle ages, cinnamon was used as a medicine. It treated coughs, sore throats, and general feelings of being under the weather. During this period, cinnamon was also used alongside black pepper in the preservation of foodstuffs, meat especially. It was also used by Europeans as an ingredient in love potions.
During the Vietnam war, exports of Saigon cinnamon halted in the 60s. It wasn't until 1994 that the trade embargo placed on this cinnamon was lifted, and exports started up again. Over the last few years, the popularity of Vietnamese cinnamon has been on the rise in the United States.
Vietnamese cinnamon is indigenous to Northern Vietnam and comes from the inner bark of an evergreen cassia tree. It is mostly grown in the Qu?ng Ngai Province (pronounced koo ong guy). Despite the name "Saigon cinnamon" it does not actually grow in Saigon.
Most Vietnamese cinnamon is cultivated from seedlings and grown on small farms. The highest quality cinnamon comes from the bark of trees that are at least 15 years old but begins to decline in quality in trees that are over 25. Cinnamon trees prefer slightly dry soil and full sun exposure. Cinnamon trees do best in soil that is acidic, with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 being the ideal for the trees to produce the best cinnamon.
To harvest cinnamon, farmers will cut down trees and remove the inner bark from both the trunk and the branches of the tree. The highest quality cinnamon is that which is gathered from the part of the trunk that is closest to the ground. The quality of the bark decreases the higher up you get from the base of the tree, with the lowest quality cinnamon being found in the branches. The bark of the tree also grows thinner the higher up you go.
The bark is collected and the outer bark is peeled away from the inner bark. The inner bark is cut into three-inch pieces, and dried. While drying in the sun over the course of several days, the bark will naturally curl up into quills. Once dried, separated and sorted for quality, the quills are packaged for export.
Our Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon is grown and harvested in Vietnam but milled in the USA to ensure the product is as fresh as possible.
The names "cinnamon" and "cassia" cause quite a bit of confusion, as in this country they are often used interchangeably. There are four economically significant species of cinnamon in the genus Cinnamomum.
Cinnamomum verum is known as "true cinnamon", but may also be referred to as Ceylon or Sri Lankan cinnamon. Sri Lanka is the only real supplier of this type of cinnamon bark. For many years, it was botanically known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a reference to the island where it was cultivated. The Portuguese, the island's first European colonial rulers, called the island Ceilao. When the British assumed rule of the country in 1815, they changed the name of the island to Ceylon. Ceylon gained independence in 1948, Sri Lanka became the name of the newly formed republic in 1972.
The other three main species of cinnamon are Cinnamomum burmannii (called Korintje, Java, or Indonesian cinnamon), Cinnamomum loureiroi (known as Vietnamese or Saigon cinnamon) and Cinnamomum aromaticaum (referred to as Chinese cinnamon). Korintje, Saigon and Chinese Cinnamon are all classified under the Cassia Cinnamon category, as they are very similar to each other with only slight variations in flavor, color and shape. The term "cassia" is never used when referring to Ceylon cinnamon.
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%. Korintje and Chinese cinnamon tend to be much more subtly sweet and pale in color.
Our Vietnamese cinnamon is highly prized among bakers and chefs for the intense flavors it gives to breads, caked, cookies, dumplings, ice cream, pastries, pies, and puddings. You can use it in savory dishes as well! It's incredible in chutneys, pickles, meat glazes, soups, stews, squash, and vinegars. It makes for a great enhancement in hot beverages, particularly coffee, cocoa, cider, and tea. You can sprinkle some in craft fall beers and add to that autumnal feeling.
Use this cinnamon as a fruit topper. Apples, apricots, blueberries, cherries, and oranges are good choices. As for vegetables, you can dust carrots, onions, and spinach with cinnamon for an unexpectedly pleasant flavor combination.
When combining with other spices you will discover that Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon pairs nicely with allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.
In traditional Vietnamese cooking, cinnamon is used in the heart dish Pho Bo, pronounced "fuh ba." Pho is the name of the noodles, which are long, flat, rice noodles. There are two types of Pho soup- Pho Bo made with a beef broth and Pho Ga made with a chicken broth. Only the Pho Bo calls for cinnamon. Pho is typically eaten for breakfast in Vietnam!
When baking or cooking with Vietnamese cinnamon, you should only use a very small amount and then add more if you deem it necessary, as just a tiny amount of this cinnamon will impart a lot of flavor.
In the United States, we mostly use cinnamon that has been ground. Cinnamon quickly loses its flavor once it has been ground, unless it is stored properly in a cool, dry place inside an airtight container. The essential oils on the cinnamon evaporate quicker when exposed to the elements, but even more quickly when the cinnamon is ground and exposed to the elements. Store well and your cinnamon can remain fresh and vibrant for up to a year.
The high concentration of aromatic oils, typically around 4% to 6%, gives Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon its signature robust and concentrated sweet yet spicy cinnamon flavor. Some compare the flavor of this cinnamon to those red hot candies or red cinnamon chewing gums from their childhoods.
Our customers come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are casual weekend bakers while others are business owners! Our Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon has found itself in gourmet granola mixes, specialty flavored coffees from the east coast, in deliciously massive cinnamon rolls the size of your head, and in the confections handcrafted by specialty chocolatiers. We have had customers who run marketplaces that request we private label this cinnamon for them, as well as people who are interested in ordering huge boxes of the stuff just to break it down themselves and distribute their own way. This is useful for customers like restauranteurs who prefer to cook by building on flavor and need a lot of spice on hand.
While these are just some of the ways our customers have enjoyed the flavor of our Organic Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon, there are numerous other tasty applications. Buying in bulk might be something you consider if you do a lot of heavy duty baking, have a thing for teas, or if you are really into making pork chops with cinnamon on them! Bulk purchasing of spices is excellent for customers with bigger needs.
If you are in a pinch and don't have any cinnamon on hand, allspice or nutmeg are good replacements. You can use either ground nutmeg or ground allspice in a one to one ratio when replacing cinnamon.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*