Cinnamon: Ceylon vs Saigon
True cinnamon?? What does that even mean?!
That was the first thing I asked when I heard that I might not be using the best cinnamon... and I had no idea that there were even options when it came to cinnamon. You're probably in the same boat!
WARNING: Ceylon cinnamon will make your baked goods irresistible. This may result in double batches, second helpings, and hoarding. Traditionally Terra cannot be held liable.
Cinnamon purchased most commonly in the United States is known as cassia cinnamon. The sticks made from cassia are sturdier, more akin to what we typically see during the holidays. A good rule of thumb is that if a cinnamon is not labeled, then you are most likely buying cassia cinnamon. It has a more pungent flavor and can ruin your baked goods if too much is added. Cassia cinnamon is a good addition to savory dishes and the most common type of labeled cassia I see is Saigon Cinnamon. We use these cinnamon sticks to flavor our pho broth.
Ceylon cinnamon has a more subtle and fruity flavor. It is balanced and does magic in baked goods. The cinnamon sticks made from Ceylon are more brittle and fragile. A good place to look for Ceylon cinnamon sticks is in the Mexican spice area of a grocery store, they will most likely be broken up a bit in the bag. This is a common cinnamon in Mexico and is called canela. If you are trying to recreate a traditional Mexican dish, make sure you are using Ceylon. I like to use Ceylon cinnamon in all my baked goods and coffee.
The most interesting thing about the difference in cinnamons is that cassia actually contains much higher amounts of coumarin, which can cause nausea, diarrhea, and headaches! As little as half a teaspoon can put you over your recommended daily limit. We primarily use Ceylon cinnamon in our house because of that reason, we use it a lot. You can purchase Organic Ceylon Cinnamon here, this is the lowest price I have found. I prefer to buy organic seasonings because the price is negligible and its a concentrated version of the original plant.
Baking season is upon us, I hope you found this intriguing and will order some ceylon cinnamon to try it out for yourself. As always, we love to see your photos and creations so please use #traditionallyterra to share what you've made!
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