History Of Cinnamon
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History Of Cinnamon

Authentic cinnamon comes only from Ceylon

History Of Cinnamon

The botanical name for true cinnamon, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum originates from the Hebraic and Arabic term amomon, meaning fragrant spice plant. Cinnamon is considered the most sought after spice, grown in Sri Lanka. The highest grade cinnamon is from the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree, which is indigenous to Sri Lanka. Cinnamon is the most exported spice from Sri Lanka.

Story Of Cinnamon Which Goes Back Centuries

It may be a surprise to some, but it is clear that many civilizations, heritages and cultures have the Ceylon Spice influence. Archaeologists have discovered traces of Ceylonese cinnamon in tombs of Egypt; believed to be over 4000 years old. Ancient Sri Lanka traded extensively with the Arabs, Greeks and Romans and has shaped their cultures through the many different uses of Sri Lankan spices.

The cigar-shaped, highly aromatic, sweet, strong and endearing Cinnamon quills captured the delight of the European nation when it was introduced by the Arabs. When the Portuguese landed in Sri Lanka, they sent back the word that “Taprobane” was just discovered. The Ceylonese cinnamon was dubbed the “Queen of all spices”.

Currently, the majority of the cinnamon cultivation is concentrated on the coastal belt from Negombo to Matara and centrally located in the Kalutara, Ratnapura area. The cinnamon plant loves the sun and sunshine is a necessity for it to grow in rich abundance. The perfect rainfall is also in order. Yes, they are quite high maintenance.

It may be a surprise to some, but it is clear that many civilizations, heritages and cultures have the Ceylon Spice influence. Archaeologists have discovered traces of Ceylonese cinnamon in tombs of Egypt; believed to be over 4000 years old. Ancient Sri Lanka traded extensively with the Arabs, Greeks and Romans and has shaped their cultures through the many different uses of Sri Lankan spices.

The cigar-shaped, highly aromatic, sweet, strong and endearing Cinnamon quills captured the delight of the European nation when it was introduced by the Arabs. When the Portuguese landed in Sri Lanka, they sent back the word that “Taprobane” was just discovered. The Ceylonese cinnamon was dubbed the “Queen of all spices”.

Currently, the majority of the cinnamon cultivation is concentrated on the coastal belt from Negombo to Matara and centrally located in the Kalutara, Ratnapura area. The cinnamon plant loves the sun and sunshine is a necessity for it to grow in rich abundance. The perfect rainfall is also in order. Yes, they are quite high maintenance.

Cassia vs Ceylon Cinnamon

Cinnamon family has many different types. The two main varieties grown in Sri Lanka are Cassia and Ceylon Cinnamon. Cassia originated from South India and is now widely grown in Sri Lanka too. It comes from the “Cinnamomum Cassia” tree. Many sub-varieties of Cassia are also found in the cultivations.

Cassia is considered a lower quality in all aspects when compared to the pure Ceylon Cinnamon. Cassia is generally a dark brown-red hue, rougher in texture and has a spicier taste than the pure Cinnamon. The Cassia Cinnamon quills have only a few layers rolled together but are tougher to break and difficult to grind because they are naturally sturdy and rough.

In reality, the Pure Ceylon Cinnamon is less commonly found. Originating from a plant called “Cinnamomum Zeylanicum blume” which bred in Sri Lanka and can only be found in Sri Lanka, this is the highest quality cinnamon in the market. Unlike Cassia Cinnamon, the quills are of a lighter brown, very soft in texture and convenient in the use of culinary or other arts. The quills are paper-thin and many layers of dried Pure Ceylon Cinnamon bark are rolled together, leaving them fragile. The taste is sweeter, more subtle with citrusy notes.

Coumarin is found in many plants, where it may serve as a chemical defence against predators. It is a compound of cinnamon that possesses pharmacological properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, antiadipogenic, antibacterial, and even anti-cancer properties. Coumarin is said to have a bitter taste but a sweet odour resembling the scent of vanilla. It is found in many plants, where it may serve as a chemical defence against pests. One of the main differences between Cassia and Pure Cinnamon is that Cassia contains high levels of coumarin and the latter has negligible amounts.