Organic Korintje Cinnamon Powder
Organic Indonesian cinnamon, Cinnamomum burmannii, is the type of cassia cinnamon that we in the US are probably the most familiar with. Every part of the cinnamon tree can be used for something -- including the roots, bark, leaves, buds and flowers. Cassia cinnamon is native to Southern China. The dried scented bark of Cassia cinnamon is sold as whole sticks (also called "quills"), chips or most commonly ground.
Depending on where it's grown, cassia cinnamon contains between .9% and 7% essential oil. Korintje cinnamon is typically between .9% and 3%. The essential oil is primarily cinnamic aldehyde (65% to 95%).
Indonesian cinnamon is called shan yue gui (Mandarin), shiwanikei (Japanese), falsa cunforeira (Portuguese) and canela de java (Spanish). It's also known as korintje, Padang or cassia vera.
The word cinnamon has been used since the 14th century and is derived from Old French "cinnamone" which comes from Latin "cinnamum" or "cinnamomum" which was borrowed from Greek "kinnamomon" which Etymologists believed came from the Phoenicians who used it as a variation of the Hebrew word "qinnamon".
Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices in the world, and was imported to Egypt from China around 2000 BC. The first Greek reference to "kasia" is found in a 7th century BC Greek poem by Sappho. Sweet cinnamon (Ceylon) was mentioned in the Bible, Exodus 30:23-4. The 5th century Greek historian Herodotus writes of India as being the source of cassia.
During the Middle Ages, the originating source of cinnamon was purposely kept a mystery to most of Europe by the Arabs to keep the price as high as possible. The Arabs were responsible for transporting cinnamon and cassia into Alexandria in Egypt where it was purchased by Italian Venetian traders who controlled the European market for spices at the time. This lucrative trade market lasted until the 1500's, when the Ottoman Empire came to power in what is modern day Turkey and disrupted the fabled Silk Road trade routes. This led Europe, especially the Portuguese and Spanish, to start looking for alternate sea based routes to Asia for cassia and other spices.
Most Indonesian cassia is cultivated from wild grown trees, and the highest quality cinnamon bark comes from trees that are at least 15-25 years old. During the harvest, farmers cut down the cassia trees and remove the bark in approximately 36" pieces. The lowest 3' from the base of the tree have the greatest concentration of flavor, as well as the thickest bark. The general rule of thumb in regards to flavor is the higher up the tree, the less flavorful and thinner the bark.
The 3' long pieces are dried in the sun for several days, which causes the bark to curl into quills which are then separated by bark thickness, color and intact pieces. They're then packaged for export.
While the production of cassia cinnamon has gone on for thousands of years in Indonesia, the future of this process looks somewhat perilous, as sustainability of the market is under attack. This is because during harvest the entire tree is cut down and replanting has always been critical. More recently, cassia farmers have increasingly been making the decision not to replant cassia trees. This is because of two significant factors. The first is higher labor production costs and the second is the business decision that planting cocoa, coffee, rubber and palm trees is more profitable. This also means that the remaining suppliers of cassia have had to venture deeper into the forests to cut down trees. This is likely to pose a problem for cassia cinnamon in the near future with dwindling supplies and increased costs.
The names "cinnamon" and "cassia" cause quite a bit of confusion in this country and they're 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. The island of Sri Lanka is where this tree is indigenous, although smaller areas of wild trees are also found in southwestern parts of India. For many years, it was botanically known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a reference to the island where it was first 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 referred to the island as Ceylon. Ceylon gained independence in 1948, and when it became a republic in 1972 it changed its name to Sri Lanka.
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.
Korintje is typically the cinnamon of choice for commercial bakeries in the US because of its good, familiar flavor and relatively low cost. We stock the highest quality Korintje cinnamon available -- grade A with 2-3% cinnamon oil (most grocery stores usually carry Indonesian cinnamon with the lower grade B or C which produces a much lower cinnamon oil content). Grade A cinnamon provides the highest cinnamon oil content of all the Indonesian cinnamon grades, while also delivering the most intense flavor and aroma. Grade A harvested "quills" must be one meter long (3.28 feet) and taken from the main trunk of the tree, while the lesser grades come from the branches.
Our organic cassia cinnamon brings 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 Microbrew customers who use cassia cinnamon in several of their beers.
Organic 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 Sweet Cinnamon Crepes and Cinnamon and Ancho Chile Chocolate Bark.
Be careful not to overcook as it becomes bitter.
The high concentration of aromatic essential oils (typically 2-3%) gives this organic cassia cinnamon a potent and subtly sweet cinnamon flavor.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*