Product of Grenada, Caribbean
Familiarly referred to in Grenada as simply "spice", cinnamon is just one of the many gems of Pure Grenada, the isle of Spice. Grenada's cinnamon is highly valuable partly because it is True Cinnamon, originating from Ceylon ( Sri Lanka) from the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree. This is more valuable than Cassia.
Cassia Versus True Cinnamon, why buy Grenadian:
Cassia is also called 'cinnamon' and is grown in places like China and Viet Nam while True Cinnamon is found in Sri Lanka, India, Brazil and the Caribbean (notably Grenada). Cinnamon purchased in a conventional grocery store or supermarket is more likely to be Cassia, while True Cinnamon is more likely to be found in wholefood stores and online stores like www.grenadamarket.com.
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE:
Cassia powder has a darker reddish-brown colour, the sticks are hard and thick. True Cinnamon like Grenada's is lighter in colour, the sticks are softer in texture.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE?
Grenadian Cinnamon has a sweeter more delicate flavour, preferred for light dishes and desserts. Even more importantly, Grenadian cinnamon is lower in Coumarin - a naturally occurring chemical in cinnamon that acts a blood thinner and is believed can cause (reversible) liver issues if ingested in high doses. It is strongly believed that the low occurrence of Coumarin in true Cinnamon such as Grenada's makes its significantly safer that Cassia, especially for sensitive persons. Even with Cassia, it would take high doses over a consistent period to cause harm, however all researches indicate that Grenadian Cinnamon is of better quality, contains less Coumarin and is arguably much safer and a better product than Cassia.
Used to flavor many hot beverages and definitely a staple in hot Chocolate, coffee and hot Cocoa (Cacao). Also a key ingredient in delectable porridges like Corn Meal and Oatmeal. Also prominent in Caribbean Rum Punch and other cocktails.
Cinnamon is a key ingredient in baking; Apple Pies, Cinnamon rolls and sticks, in Rice pudding, Coquito (Puerto Rico) and more.
MEDICINAL & OTHER USES:
This marvelous natural product is a blood regulator and also a mood enhancer, commonly used in Aroma therapy. It is said to boost cognition and mental clarity, and can be taken with just hot water to settle an upset stomach.
Cinnamon makes an effective deodorizer especially for masking or removing food smells.... just place a pot of boiling water and a few sticks of cinnamon on a burner next to foods like frying fish to neutralize the food smells.
In addition to being true cinnamon, Grenada's cinnamon is responsibly harvested with no destruction of the trees or damage to the environment. Unlike mass-produced cinnamon crops in several other places, Grenada's cinnamon is harvested by hand in a sustainable manner that ensures regeneration of the bark and preserves the health of the trees. The harvested bark is sun-dried, no artificial process at any point - from nature to your kitchen.
SUMMARY - KEY BENEFITS OF TRUE CINNAMON:
Lowers blood sugar levels, improves ability to respond to insulin
Supports healthy blood clotting (avoid if on blood thinners)
Fights bacteria and fungus
Boosts memory and brain activity
Improves digestion, curbs flatulence
Note: FDA allows both Cassia and true cinnamon to be labelled as simply “cinnamon” so look out for that next time you shop cinnamon.
The information reproduced here is based on research and believed to be accurate, however it does not constitute medical or dietary advice, please check with your physician if in doubt about this or any other spice.