Spice Journey: Cinnamon
Cinnamon has woven itself through the fabric of our history and into our hearts. For me, it’s memories of mom’s “special breakfast” of baked apple with cinnamon and sugar, an adolescent winter walk warmed by my first (very sugary) coffee, and of course all things Christmas. But have you ever wondered where the cinnamon on your table comes from and how it gets there?
Cinnamon has woven itself through the fabric of history and into our hearts. Maybe it’s memories of mom’s “special breakfast” of baked apple with cinnamon and sugar, the first time you made French Toast, and of course all things Christmas - from ornaments to cider. But have you ever wondered where the cinnamon on your table comes from and how it gets there?
What is Cinnamon?
Let's start with a key piece of information: the two types of cinnamon you might know are from two different plants.
The first might appropriately be called true cinnamon and is the inner layer of bark from evergreen trees of the genus Cinnamomum, native to Sri Lanka.
Also known as “true” cinnamon, this variety has a milder, sweeter flavor than the cinnamon you are likely used to. While this type of cinnamon is preferred in England and Mexico, until recently it has been less popular in the United States.
Ceylon Flavor: Bright, Citrusy, Sweet
The second spice we think of as cinnamon actually comes from a different species Cinnamomum cassia is native to China. Related species are grown throughout Asia and are all sold as just "cinnamon" today. The classic cinnamon that is commonly sold in the U.S., this variety has a stronger, spicier flavor than Ceylon.
Saigon Cassia Flavor: Bold, Spicy, Lingering
Indonesian (Korintje) Cinnamon Flavor: Mellow, Familiar, Sweet
You can read more about the types of cinnamon we carry here.
Regardless of the type of cinnamon, the harvesting process is the same. Just as it has been done for thousands of years, farmers remove the outer bark off the trees, then shave off the delicious inner bark. This is the first step in Cinnamon’s journey to our shelves and your kitchen. The bark is dried over the course of about a week, during which time it curls into the familiar shape of cinnamon sticks.From The Field
To Your Pantry
Though a lot has changed in the world since the days of the ancient Spice Trade, some things have not. Cinnamon is still shipped by boat, making the long journey from local producers and distributers in Sri Lanka, China, and Indonesia to New York.
From there, the cinnamon is shipped directly to our warehouse in Denver, Colorado by plane.
The cinnamon is then shipped in small batches to our stores nationwide.