5 Ways to Identify Ceylon Cinnamon
It might have never struck you that a common spice such as cinnamon would have different variants. Cinnamon is one of the world’s most used spices as it is used in flavoring sweets and savory items alike in several cuisines all over the world. Cinnamon is the dried inner stem bark of the Cinnamomum Verum trees found in the Western Ghats of Kerala. The spice consisting of the dried inner bark is typically brown in color and can be further made into a range of commercial products such as quills, chips, and oils. Cinnamon scientifically speaking only has one true variant which is the cinnamon that is grown in Sri Lanka and the southern region of India. This type of cinnamon is known as Ceylon cinnamon which is the true authentic cinnamon. The more commonly available cinnamon variant is the cassia variety which is marketed and sold in most countries. The cassia variety cinnamon is the variant that is commonly available and sold in most countries. Make sure to buy Ceylon cinnamon sticks to ensure that you get true cinnamon to experiment within the kitchen.
Ceylon cinnamon is the true cinnamon that is recommended by several health practitioners and doctors because of cinnamon helpful health benefits. Some studies have suggested that the consumption of cinnamon helps reduce blood pressure. Ceylon cinnamon also contains prebiotic properties that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that help repress the growth of pathogenic bacteria. This helps improve gut health in an individual. Ceylon cinnamon also improves glycaemic control which helps in controlling your sugar intake and managing type-2 diabetes. Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and is sourced from the plant Cinnamomum Zeylanicum which is unknown to most people. In many parts of Asia and the rest of the world, the cinnamon that we buy from groceries is not actually Ceylon cinnamon but cassia cinnamon. This type of cinnamon comes from a different plant known as the Cinnamomum cassia which is mainly cultivated in China and Indonesia.
The two variants of cinnamon share certain specific characteristics such as inhibiting the growth of fungi and yeast through its antimicrobial properties and regulating blood sugar. The main difference is the large disparity between the amount of a compound known as coumarin which is a naturally occurring substance with strong blood-thinning properties. The coumarin levels in Ceylon cinnamon are negligibly small while that of in cassia cinnamon is an estimated 1200 times higher. The ingestion and consumption of coumarin over a prolonged period of time can cause serious health damages to individuals including damage to the liver and the kidney. Hence why buying Ceylon cinnamon sticks is the best way to derive the signature taste of cinnamon and to derive the most out of its health benefits.
It is not easy to tell apart Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon apart from any packaging or labeling cues that companies offer. Most commercial products of cinnamon, especially cinnamon powder, do not distinguish which cinnamon was the true source of the product. Most bottles of cinnamon do not indicate any information regarding the origin of the cinnamon tree used or the type of cinnamon from which it is sourced from. When buying Ceylon cinnamon sticks make sure to check with the supplier to verify the true origin of the cinnamon used before buying that particular cinnamon product. Here are five ways to identify Ceylon cinnamon and differentiate it from the other variants.
1.Ceylon cinnamon is a highly valued culinary and medicinal spice that is not commonly available in your everyday groceries. The price of true authentic Ceylon cinnamon can be up to ten times higher than the common cassia variety of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon on the other hand is commonly available in groceries and supermarkets and is typically cheap. Buy Ceylon cinnamon sticks to get an authentic culinary and medicinal experience.
2.Ceylon cinnamon is tan-brown in color and has a thin paper-like texture that forms multiple layers when rolled. Cassia cinnamon on the other hand is reddish dark brown in color and only forms a few layers when rolled due to its uneven thick barks. Buy Ceylon cinnamon sticks to enjoy a premium culinary experience.
3.As mentioned before Ceylon cinnamon contains only a small amount of coumarin, a naturally occurring blood-thinning substance. Coumarin is essential to consume in moderation as it is used in correcting blood sugar levels. Cassia cinnamon contains a high amount of the compound coumarin which if consumed regularly can cause damage to the kidney and the liver. It is not a cause for concern when consumed occasionally. Evaluating the risks has made it clear that it is optimal to buy Ceylon cinnamon sticks when you want to stock up on cinnamon for the household.
4.Ceylon cinnamon is fragile and can be easily broken down into further sticks or powder while cassia cinnamon is tough and difficult to break down further. It is almost impossible to break down cassia cinnamon without the use of an electric grinder.
5.Ceylon cinnamon is delicate and sweet with subtle notes of clove which creates an exceptional flavor profile to create desserts, cakes, and pastries. Cassia cinnamon is pungent and full-bodied and is more suitable to combine with meat-based recipes. Buying Ceylon cinnamon sticks is suitable for creating delicious desserts as well as other dishes due to its versatility in its use.