Food Facts: Cassia Vs Ceylon Cinnamon

When the temperature starts to drop and the leaves turn, people begin to crave comforting fall flavors and spices. Cinnamon is one of most popular autumn flavors, sprinkled regularly into pumpkin pie and on top of a daily latte. As with many foods, there are some interesting facts about cinnamon that may surprise many. You can attend an online culinary arts program to learn the history of this and other everyday foods – But ask yourself, is your cinnamon the real deal or are you really tasting cassia?

The cinnamon that is sold and consumed in the U.S. is actually cassia. The shape is called a quill and has a thick yet smooth bark. Cassia is known for being a brash yet sweet spice. It’s also known as Saigon cinnamon, and comes from Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia and Korea.

If you know anything about ceylon, you may have heard people call it the real or true cinnamon. This spice is milder in flavor and not as spicy as its counterpart, but is considered a higher quality. Some say the flavor profile is similar to vanilla with hints of floral flavors. Ceylon can be described as a scroll, and the thin bark is much frailer than cassia. The Mexican culture uses ceylon to flavor hot chocolate. It comes from India, Brazil, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean.

Cinnamon health benefits
A study in the journal Diabetes Care tested participants with type 2 diabetes and found that cinnamon consumption has been linked to lower levels of glucose. Additionally, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

If your go-to cold weather spice is cassia cinnamon, try the ceylon version for a mild alternative.

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