Inventory, 6 ct : 8.34
This item was last sold on : 08/06/22
Cinnamon sticks, often referred to as quills, are hollow rolled pieces of tree bark measuring 7 to 10 centimeters in length. The surface of the stick is red-brown and rough to the touch. Inside, Cinnamon sticks bear a darker, grey-brown hue with a smooth and powdery texture. The ends of the bark curl inward, resembling a thick scroll. The thickness of the rolled bark can vary from 5 to 10 millimeters, making the sticks hard to break and grind. Cinnamon sticks have a woodsy, earthy, and spicy aroma that can burn on the nose. Their flavor is mildly sweet and woodsy, with slightly bitter undertones and a warm spiciness.
Cinnamon sticks are available year-round, with the bark generally being harvested in autumn.
The Cinnamon sticks most widely used in the world are produced from the dried bark of the evergreen tree Cinnamomum cassia, a member of the laurel tree that grows in Indonesia. Cinnamon sticks from the Cassia tree are also known as Chinese Cinnamon and Cassia bark. When dried, Indonesian Cassia bark is softer and more pliable than other Cassia varieties, allowing it to be harvested in one thick layer. As these layers of bark dry in the sun, they curl inward on both sides, creating a Cinnamon stick that is round, hollow, and resembles a scroll. Indonesian Cassia cinnamon is the most recognizable of the Cassia Cinnamons on the market and is the most popular variety used in the United States. The bark of the Saigon and Chinese Cinnamon trees, two other types of Cassia Cinnamon, is less pliable and breaks apart into rough, oddly shaped pieces, which are either sold whole or ground for easier use. Another type of Cinnamon stick, Ceylon Cinnamon, can be found on the market. This cinnamon stick is tan, s easily broken. Ceylon sticks have thin layers of bark stacked on top of each other and rolled into a cigar shape. Ceylon Cinnamon is often considered to be ‘true Cinnamon’ with Cassia being considered ‘false Cinnamon,’ however, both varieties of Cinnamon can be used interchangeably in culinary preparations.
Cassia Cinnamon sticks are not consumed whole and have little to no nutritional value. When ground, Cinnamon does have trace amounts of calcium, manganese, iron, and potassium. Cinnamon's distinct scent and flavor comes from a volatile oil, cinnamaldehyde, which makes up about 95% of the oil in Cassia Cinnamon. This oil has antimicrobial properties, and Cassia Cinnamon has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat kidney and gastrointestinal ailments. Cassia Cinnamon sticks also contain a high level of coumarin, a toxin that thins the blood and can damage the liver and kidneys if too much is consumed.
Cinnamon sticks can be used whole in a variety of applications. Cinnamon sticks are commonly added to drinks during cooking like spiced cider, mulled wine, and eggnog. The sticks can be used as straws and stirrers in cocktails and coffee drinks. Cinnamon sticks can be steeped in water to create a sweet and fragrant tea or brewed in coffee. Heat the sticks in oil to make a fragrant infused oil used for cooking or perfume. Add Cinnamon sticks to slow-cooked meats, curries, and stews to create depth and dimension to the dish. Cinnamon sticks are a key ingredient in Chinese Red Cooking, a method of braising meat and vegetables in a soy sauce and sugar broth filled with aromatic spices. Cinnamon sticks do not breakdown when cooked and must be removed before serving. The removed sticks can be rinsed, dried, and reused until their flavor dissipates. Cinnamon sticks will impart a milder flavor than ground Cinnamon. Store Cinnamon sticks in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Cassia Cinnamon bark was a highly sought after and prized spice throughout many ancient cultures for medicinal and religious practice. In Ancient Egypt, Cassia was used as perfume and an ingredient during the embalming ritual. In Ancient Greece, worshipers left offerings of Cinnamon and Cassia to Apollo at the temple of Miletus. Cassia plays a significant role in the Jewish and Christian religions. Cassia is referred to multiple times throughout the Torah and Old and New Testaments as an ingredient in the holy anointing oil. The recipe for anointing oil is first mentioned in the book of Exodus, and it is used to mark the high priest and his descendants as holy. Holy anointing oil is used throughout the Bible for protection, healing, and as an act of hospitality. Today, anointing with oil is used to welcome someone into the home or revive and energize the body.
The Cinnamomum Cassia tree is indigenous to the tropical climates of China, Myanmar, and Assam. The spice, known as Cassia through antiquity, played an important role in Ancient Chinese culture, and the native variety found in the Guangxi and Guangdonovinces is still used regularly in Chinese cooking and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Indonesian Cassia began being traded as early as the 1st century by raft along a ‘cinnamon route’ to East Africa, where it was then carried north to the Roman market by Jewish traders. The origin of Cassia was kept a secret by Middle Eastern traders for centuries until the Portuguese discovered a route to Asia and took over the spice trade. Because Cassia could be propagated in multiple regions in Asia, it became a cheaper alternative to Ceylon Cinnamon, allowing it to gain in popularity among the lower and middle class by the 19th century. This led to Cassia being labeled Cinnamon throughout much of the world and Ceylon Cinnamon becoming a rarely known spice. Todnearly all the Cinnamon consumed in the United States comes from Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of Cinnamon sticks. In Europe, however, it is illegal to label Cinnamon from any Cassia tree as Cinnamon. Instead, this spice will be labeled ‘Csia.’ Indonesian Cinnamon sticks can be found in any grocery store in the United States.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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