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Spice Wars: The Battle for True Cinnamon

Unveiling the Mysteries of Sri Lanka's Prized Spice Industry

By MADPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
Spice Wars: The Battle for True Cinnamon
Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

Once revered as precious as gold, cinnamon holds a distinguished place in the world of spices. Known as Salon cinnamon, or true cinnamon, it stands apart for its exquisite flavor and health-enhancing properties. Sri Lanka, boasting 90% of the global supply, is the primary custodian of this coveted spice. However, Salon cinnamon faces formidable competition from its lower-quality counterpart, Cassia, which commands the global market owing to its affordability. Yet, discerning between the two is no easy feat, as Cassia often disguises itself as Salon cinnamon, posing a challenge for consumers seeking authenticity in their spice purchases.

Step into the enchanting realm of cinnamon harvesting in Sri Lanka, where skilled artisans like Santh meticulously extract cinnamon from the inner bark of cinnamon tree branches. This intricate process involves precise cutting, soaking, and peeling, culminating in the transformation of bark into delicate quills of cinnamon. These quills undergo stringent grading based on thickness and quality, with the finest specimens fetching a premium price in the market.

Beyond its culinary allure, cinnamon boasts a rich history intertwined with ancient civilizations. Legends of its origin, including mythical birds’ nests, added to its mystique, elevating cinnamon to a status surpassing that of gold in historical trade. European powers, captivated by its allure, vied for control of Sri Lanka’s cinnamon lands, ushering in centuries of colonial dominance.

However, the ascendancy of Cassia and its cost-effective production methods challenged Salon cinnamon’s supremacy. Despite its affordability, Cassia poses health risks due to its high coumarin content, contrasting with Salon cinnamon’s myriad health benefits and milder flavor profile.

In a bid to safeguard the authenticity of Salon cinnamon, Sri Lanka secured a coveted geographical indication tag from the European Union, signifying its origin and unique qualities. Yet, challenges persist as labeling laws often permit the blending of Cassia with Salon cinnamon without clear disclosure to consumers. Stricter regulations and transparent labeling practices could empower consumers to make informed choices and uphold Sri Lanka’s cinnamon industry’s legacy.

The narrative of cinnamon epitomizes the complexities of global trade and the delicate balance between tradition, authenticity, and modern commerce. As consumers, understanding the origins and characteristics of the spices we consume empowers us to make conscientious choices and preserve the legacy of iconic flavors like Salon cinnamon.

From the sun-kissed plantations of Sri Lanka to the shelves of grocery stores worldwide, the journey of cinnamon is as storied as it is diverse. Its aromatic allure and culinary versatility have captivated civilizations for millennia, leaving an indelible mark on cultures and cuisines around the globe. As we savor the warmth and richness of cinnamon-infused dishes, let us also appreciate the craftsmanship and tradition that underpin its cultivation and production. In celebrating the essence of cinnamon, we honor not just a spice, but a timeless symbol of heritage, resilience, and the enduring pursuit of flavor.

As the sun rises over the cinnamon fields of Sri Lanka, a new chapter unfolds in the age-old saga of spice. With each quill of Salon cinnamon harvested, a legacy is preserved, a tradition upheld, and a taste of history shared with the world. In the fragrant embrace of cinnamon’s embrace, we find not just a spice, but a story—a story of passion, perseverance, and the enduring quest for perfection.

As the fragrant aroma of cinnamon wafts through the air, it serves as a reminder of the intricate web of flavors and cultures woven into each quill. From ancient rituals to modern culinary delights, cinnamon transcends geographical boundaries, uniting palates and igniting imaginations across the globe. In the bustling markets of Sri Lanka, where spice merchants ply their trade, and the serene landscapes where cinnamon trees sway in the breeze, the essence of this revered spice lives on, a testament to the enduring bond between humanity and nature.

In the heart of Sri Lanka's cinnamon plantations, amidst verdant fields and gentle whispers of history, lies a treasure trove of flavors waiting to be discovered. With each harvest, each meticulous grading, and each shipment that sets sail for distant shores, the story of cinnamon unfolds, inviting us to partake in its timeless journey. As we savor the warmth and richness of cinnamon-spiced delicacies, let us also savor the stories they tell—the stories of resilience, innovation, and the indomitable spirit of those who have shaped the destiny of this beloved spice.


About the Creator


Hi, I’m MAD and nothing will stop me from being successful! Subscribe for more madness ❤️

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Comments (1)

  • Alex H Mittelman 4 months ago

    I love cinnamon! Great work!

MADWritten by MAD

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