cinnamon sticks

cassia
2 3/4" quills
5.0
based on 5 reviews
refill
1.2 oz
$4
large refill
5 oz
$12
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VARIANTS
chips - cassia
2 3/4" quills - cassia
ground - cassia
bark pieces
These cinnamon sticks are made from the inner bark of a South Asian species of evergreen called Cinnamomum cassia. These sticks, called quills, have an abundance of the organic compound cinnamaldehyde in their essential oils. This compound gives the spice its pungent flavor and distinctive warm aroma.

Cassia's reddish-brown inner bark is thick and as it dries it turns inward from both sides curling to form a scroll. The quills are very rigid and difficult to break into pieces—unlike Ceylon quills which have papery layers and crumble more easily.

The durability of these cinnamon sticks, as well as their cut size, makes them favorites for aromatic crafts, or as both decorative and flavor-inducing stirrers for fall or festive drinks. The addition of cinnamon's spicy aroma is heady, and never fails to evoke warm, sweet treats.
QUICK INFO
cinnamon sticks , 2 3/4" quills
PLANT PART
inner bark
PROCESSING / FORM
2 3/4" quills
BOTANICAL NAME
Cinnamomum cassia
VOLUME
1.2 oz (34 g) per 1/2 cup
ORIGIN
Indonesia
BOTANICAL NAME
Cinnamomum cassia
AKA
cassia cinnamon
cassia
Most forms of cassia cinnamon are harvested from the inner bark of Cinnamomum cassia, an evergreen tree species.

Harvesting is done twice a year after a heavy rain from mature trees. Branches are chopped, and sometimes entire trees felled; this process (called coppicing) will allow new shoots to sprout from the stump for a few generations thus ensuring future crops. In Indonesia this is often a second income for local farmers.

The outer bark is peeled away to reveal the aromatic inner bark below. Sometimes the branch is beaten with a mallet to loosen bark layers first. The inner bark is processed immediately after harvesting while it is still wet and pliable. naturally curls as it dries into sticks called quills.
CONFUSIONS

A collection of cassias
Broadly speaking there are two types of cinnamon that we use in America: Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. The most common is cassia, which itself can be divided into three different kinds depending on origin: Korintje from Indonesia (Cinnamomum burmannii), Saigon from Vietnam (Cinnamomum loureiroi), and somewhat confusingly, cassia from China (Cinnamomum cassia). These three are largely similar enough in taste and aroma that they have been roughly grouped under the name cassia.

Also known as
It's worth noting, that matters are further confused as these three cassias might go by different common name monikers; Korintje can be called Indonesian cinnamon, Saigon can be called Vietnamese cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia; and cassia can be called Chinese cinnamon.

Cinnamon truths
The other main type of cinnamon is Cinnamomum verum called Ceylon cinnamon, true cinnamon, or sometimes Mexican cinnamon. It is what is primarily sold in Europe and in Mexico (as canela) for cinnamon. It is more a more subtle and will yield a different taste if substituted. It is more expensive than the cassia types and is marked for having a very low coumarin content.

USAGE HINT

Cinnamon is a well-known addition to sweet holiday beverages, but it can also work with savory dishes. Simmering cinnamon sticks in soups or sauces adds a warm complexity to your dish. Try adding a stick to the coconut milk when preparing curry dishes.

QUICK FACT

From antiquity through the middle ages mythical stories were told and mystery was cultivated around the origins and production of cinnamon. These tales were meant to obfuscate and protect the source of the revered spice, but they also enhanced its exoticism.

An Arabian cinnamon bird, Cinnamologus, is mentioned in one of Aristotle's works of natural history as a bird that built its nest from cinnamon it had gathered from far flung and unknown environs. The cinnamon nest was balanced on slender branches of tall trees, and to harvest the cinnamon sticks locals would shoot the nests from their perches with leaden-tipped arrows.

 
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