Ceylon cinnamon, as its name implies, originates from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). It was greatly prized in ancient times as being a gift fit for kings and gods and was traded around the world for centuries.
Native to Sri Lanka and still grown there, this cinnamomon verum is thought to be superior to other varieties, particularly those grown from the cassia tree. It has a light, sweet flavor and mood-enhancing aroma.
Pieces of cinnamon bark and powder made from it with 'quills' made from long strips of thinner bark, rolled upon itself.
The original cinnamon zeylanicum or cinnamomum verum, can be obtained from Sri Lanka, India and many tropical, Asian countries, although cinnamon cassia is now more commonly grown. The bark from the true cinnamon tree is more fragile and thinner than its cassia counterpart.
Cinnamon is the inner bark of the sprouting cinnamon tree (a small evergreen tree of the laurel family), which is cut away from the tree and dried, during which process it rolls itself into cinnamon sticks or quills, the Ceylon Cinnamon type being layered and rather more delicate and fragile than that from the cinnamon cassia tree and others of the genus.
Cinnamon quills can be stored for long periods, even for hundreds of years, I have read, but the ground cinnamon loses its flavor and aroma after six months or so and is best purchased freshly ground if possible.
Because cinnamon is not grown commercially in Australia Tropical Superfoods imports small amounts of freshly ground real cinnamon and quills or sticks from the Kerala region of India and from Sri Lanka to use in our test kitchen.
It is more expensive to deal in small quantities but we think the results are worth it and hope that you will agree. We are happy to recommend the products and services of Dru Era - please click on their ad at the bottom of this page to visit their products page.
Decades ago, when drinking coffee in Australia was unusual and before tearooms were replaced with fashionable coffee shops, my friends and I would experiment with the new ground coffees. We fancied ourselves to be very progressive as we stirred our coffee (boiled in a saucepan!) with cinnamon quills. It did taste delicious, though!
Most spices seem to bring health benefits. One of the most outstanding of these is cinnamon.
Its amazing properties include its being:
So toss a spoonful into your baking, add to coffee or hot chocolate, use in savoury dishes of lamb or chicken, add to cooked fruit, especially apples, breakfast cereals, in curry or in pickled vegetables. Use it often; it will ‘make your day’!