Cinnamon needed its own page, well, because I love cinnamon. What would we do with out the divine taste of cinnamon to add spice and heat to some of our favorite desserts?
Cinnamon is the dried inner bark of tropical evergreen trees in the genus Cinnamomum, native to Sri Lanka, southwest India and Asia. Of the over two hundred different varieties of cinnamon only a handful are readily available in world markets. There are several types of Cinnamon that one might find at the store. Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum) is used to describe cinnamon that comes from China and Southeast Asia. Vietnamese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureiroi,)comes from a close relative of Cassia and neither is the same as Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), however they are all in the same genus.
Cassia is the most common type of Cinnamon sold in US supermarkets. Ceylon Cinnamon can be found at specialty stores and is known as "true cinnamon". Vietnamese cinnamon (aka Saigon Cinnamon) can also be purchased at specialty stores. Vietnamese cinnamon is grown in North Vietnam along the Chinese border and because of its high oil content, it is much more potent than the Indonesian cinnamon most commonly found in stores. Vietnamese cinnamon is sweeter and more aromatic, too.
I have two varieties of cinnamon at my house: regular, run of the mill, grocery store cinnamon and Vietnamese Cinnamon. I really do love cinnamon!