Cinnamon and Cassia

Cinnamon Sticks and Powder 

Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) which has a rich, strong, spicy aroma and a delicious, sweet flavour.

In Malay cooking, stick cinnamon is added to curries, breyanis, vegetables, puddings and desserts. Ground cinnamon is also used in baking, melktert and confectionery

Cinnamon bark is manually rolled into light reddish brown coils, called quills, that have a warm and spicy yet sweet and delicate flavour.

Cassia

Cassia 

Vietnamese Cinnamon (C. loureirii) looks similar to cassia, but it is smaller and thinner. Highly esteemed in China and Japan, the bark is high in essential oil and has a sweet, rich, pungent flavour.

The unripe fruits are dried and sold as “cassia buds.”

Indonesian Cinnamon (C. burmannii) is much thicker than Vietnamese cinnamon and not as breakable. The quills are reddish brown outside, but the inner side of the bark is a much darker grayish brown. It’s cultivated in Java and Sumatra and is much used in the Netherlands.

Cinnamon Buds which resemble cloves are the unripe fruits of the cinnamon tree. They have a mild, pure, sweet flavour, but must be finely ground to release their fragrance. The buds are used in China and India.

Purchase and Avoid
Paler true cinnamon is of better quality because it comes from young cultivated shoots, resulting in quills that are thin and delicately flavoured. Ground cinnamon quickly loses its subtle nuances of aroma.
For whole cassia, look for reddish brown rather than dark brown quills.
Preparation
Soft-stick cinnamon is soft enough to crumble with your hands and then grind.
To grind cassia, first crush up several quills with a meat mallet or hammer, then grind the crushed pieces to a rough powder in a coffee grinder, in a blender, or with a mortar and pestle.
Culinary Uses
Cinnamon Powder 
Food Affinities

Category: Spices and Herbs

Sub Category: Spice