Cinnamon - that most popular of spices - comes from the bark of an evergreen tree. Cinnamon's sweet, spicy and warm fragrance adds pungent sweetness to your favorite baked goodies. You can also use it to add a depth of flavor to savory dishes as well.
Though often used interchangeably, cassia and cinnamon are not the same. Cinnamomum cassia (grown primarily in China and Indonesia) is reddish-brown and pungently sweet, while Cinnamomum zeylanicum (from Sri Lanka and India) is buff-colored and mild. Cassia is usually preferred for its more intense color and flavor.
Vietnamese (Cinnamomum loureirri)
Formally known as Saigon cinnamon, this special variety is rebounding in popularity in the U.S., following a more than 20-year absence. Compared to Indonesian types, Vietnamese cinnamon has a distinctly sweet flavor and an exceptionally high volatile oil content. Gourmet cooks rate it as the highest quality cinnamon in the world.
Cinnamon is the world's most popular baking spice. You'll recognize its familiar taste and aroma in cakes, breads, cookies, breads and pies, dumplings, puddings, pastries and ice cream. It's common in savory dishes, too--soups, chutneys, catsup, pickles, squash, vinegars and meat glazes--and hot drinks like cider, coffee, tea and cocoa
Cinnamon complements fruits like apricots, cherries, apples, blueberries and oranges. Vegetables, too--especially carrots, spinach and onions--are enhanced by cinnamon's pungent sweetness.