Cinnamon - Verstegen Spices & Sauces


Cinnamon is a spice whose name comes from the Latin word 'canella', meaning roll. Cinnamon is the dried bark of the evergreen cinnamon tree. The cinnamon tree only grows in tropical climates. In the Padang region of Western Sumatra, the planting of cinnamon plantations has started, but the origin lies in Sri Lanka, former Ceylon.

The origin

The growth of cinnamon requires a tropical humid climate. Countries such as Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have these climates and cinnamon is grown there. As Verstegen will always get their products from the areas of origin, the Verstegen cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Verstegen ground cinnamon is cinnamon from Cassia (originally Indonesia). Verstegen cinnamon sticks is Ceylon cinnamon (originally Sri Lanka).

Taste and other characteristics of cinnamon

There are many varieties of the cinnamon tree, all related to each other, including the Ceylon and Cassia trees. The young leaves of the cinnamon tree are reddish, the mature adult leaves are dark green and resemble laurel. The flowers are pale yellow, small and have a rather unattractive typical scent. Cinnamon is harvested when the reddish leaves turn pale green. The Ceylon cinnamon tree can grow to a height of eight to seventeen (!) meters. The Cassia tree can grow even taller. Unfortunately, the quality of Cassia cinnamon decreases with age and size.

The difference between Ceylon and Cassia

There are different varieties of cinnamon. The best-known varieties are Cassia and Ceylon. Ceylon cinnamon is aromatic, sweet, sunny, woody and slightly bitter. Ground and dissolved in hot water, it becomes a bit slimy and sticky. Compared to Ceylon cinnamon, Cassia is slightly darker, sweeter, perfumed, penetrating and has a sharper bitter aftertaste. It's got a little hard feel in the mouth.

Cassia varieties from Vietnam and China contain most coumarin, the natural flavouring substance of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon contains 1.5-3.0% essential oil, while Cassia contains only 0.5-2% essential oil. This means that the Cassia has slightly less taste.

Cinnamon in dishes

The spice cinnamon is usually used in sweet dishes. From pastry to desserts. There are also sweets in which cinnamon is used, such as the well-known cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon is also found in savory dishes. It is often part of mixtures such as curry, masala or it is processed in a bumbu.