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What Is Korintje Cinnamon?

Featured image for "What is Korintje Cinnamon?" blog post. Korintje cinnamon sticks.

What is korintje cinnamon? The cinnamon tree, scientific name Cinnamomum, is productive. There is a use for every single one of its parts — bark, roots, buds, leaves, and flowers. Most U.S. places tend to consume the Indonesian variety, Korintje cinnamon, Cinnamomum burmannii, a type of Cassia cinnamon, a plant native to Southern China. After being dried, Cassia cinnamon’s scented bark is widely sold in whole sticks or chips, but this reddish-brown spice tends to be most commonly sold in ground powder form.

Cinnamon consists of different resinous compounds, amongst which is cinnamic aldehyde, ranging from 65% to 95% of the total oil content. Cassia cinnamon varies between 0.9% and 7% of essential oil levels, depending on the specific climate where it is grown. The Indonesian variety, Korintje cinnamon, contains between 0.9% and 3% of essential oils.

In other languages, Indonesian cinnamon is known as shiwanikei (Japanese), falsa cunforeira (Portuguese), shan yue gui (Mandarin), and canela de java (Spanish). Other names for it are Korintje, Padang, and cassia vera.

* Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means that we receive a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you.

Background: What Is Korintje Cinnamon?

The word “cinnamon” has an ancient history, starting with the Phoenicians, who borrowed “qinnamon” from Hebrew and influenced the Greek word “kinnamon,” which led to the Latin word “cinnamum” or “cinnamomum.” In medieval times, Old French spread “cinnamone” around the 14th century. Etymologists have proved that the spice trade is an old practice, dating back to ancient times.

Cinnamon is one of the first spices to be discovered and traded. From where does it come? It is widely agreed that cinnamon was imported from China to Egypt since 2000 BC. In literature, the first reference to cinnamon dates back to the 7th century BC in one of Sappho’s poems in Greek, where she referenced “Kasia.” The Bible references sweet cinnamon (Ceylon) in Exodus 30:23-4. Herodotus, the Greek historian, mentioned India as a provider of cassia.

In medieval times, Arabs controlled much of the spice trade and intentionally withheld the cinnamon harvest location. Most European nations traded with Arab merchants under these conditions. The merchants transported both cassia and cinnamon from an undisclosed locale to Alexandria in Egypt, where Venetian merchants made large purchases and moved the product into European markets.

In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) rose into power and disrupted this lucrative market operation by blockading the traditional Silk Road routes. This historical period led to Iberian nations prone to sea-faring, Portugal, and Spain, to begin searching for alternative maritime ways to Asian countries where spices could be found.

Korintje Cinnamon is a kind of Cassia cinnamon, perfect for everyday use. One of the most common types of cinnamon in the U.S, it is known for its spicy-sweet and slightly bitter flavor.

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Agriculture: What Is Korintje Cinnamon?

Most of the Indonesian cassia variety is harvested from trees grown in the wild, with the oldest trees providing the best cinnamon bark. Premium quality cinnamon comes from trees that are, at the very least, fifteen to twenty-five years old. Cinnamon farmers will harvest the product by cutting down the cassia trees and peeling the bark in thirty-six-inch pieces. The lowest portion of the bark is thicker than other parts, and it has the most concentrated flavor. The farther the piece of bark is from the soil, the thinner and blander it will get.

After the harvest, the cinnamon pieces will be sun-dried for many days, so that the bark will curl into the necessary quills. Next, these pieces will be separated according to color, thickness, and to salvage the most intact parts. Finally, they will be prepared and packaged to be exported.

History: What Is Korintje Cinnamon?

This age-old practice has sustained the production and trade of cassia cinnamon in Indonesia for thousands of years, but its future is questionable. Since it is necessary to cut down the whole tree during harvest, replanting trees is an essential component of the process. Yet, cassia farmers are now less likely to replant the cassia trees. For them, it is a strategic decision to do so, as there are very high labor costs involved in the production of cinnamon and other agriculture practices (such as the cultivation of coffee, rubber, cocoa, and palm trees) have proven to be more profitable.

Thus, replanting has lowered to unsafe levels, and the total area devoted to cinnamon cultivation has decreased to give room to other plants. Now, cinnamon suppliers are going further and further into wild forests to cut down cassia trees. We already see an impact on the availability of premium cassia cinnamon, and soon, this will lead to higher costs as supplies dwindle.

Higher prices and increased demand will certainly lure cassia farmers back into the cinnamon market, but new trees require at least seven to eight years before being ready for harvest. Without sustainable business and agricultural practices, the cinnamon market will eventually fall apart.

Fresh Cinnamon stick bundle.
Fresh Cinnamon sticks.

What is Korintje Cinnamon — Varieties of Cinnamon

You may be confused about the terms “cassia” and “cinnamon” as they are frequently used interchangeably. However, we will elucidate that there are four most commercially relevant cinnamon species among the genus Cinnamomum.

Cinnamomum verum, true cinnamon, is also known as Sri Lankan or Ceylon cinnamon. The Cinnamomum verum tree is indigenous to Sri Lanka, with small groups of wild trees being found in India’s southwestern regions. It was formerly known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, in reference to its initial cultivation locale. The first European colonizers of Sri Lanka, the Portuguese, initially renamed the island as Ceilao. After the British took the colonial rule of Ceilao in 1815, they called it Ceylon. In 1948, Ceylon finally gained independence from its colonizers, becoming a republic in 1972, when it was renamed, Sri Lanka.

Other species of cinnamon include Cinnamomum loureiroi (Saigon or Vietnamese cinnamon), Cinnamomum aromaticum (Chinese cinnamon), and Cinnamomum burmanii (Java, Indonesian, or Korintje cinnamon). The Cassia cinnamon category consists of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korintje cinnamon, marking their similarities and slight variance in color, shape, and flavor. Ceylon cinnamon is never classified as “cassia.”

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What Is Korintje Cinnamon — How to Distinguish Cassia (Korintje) from Ceylon

There are several ways to tell Cassia Cinnamon apart from other varieties of cinnamon. The following is a side-by-side contrast of the two most common commercial cinnamon types —Cassia and Ceylon.

Taste

While Ceylon cinnamon is lighter, Cassia Cinnamon has a strong and hot taste. Due to the nature of Ceylon cinnamon’s sweet, delicate taste, it is perfect for pastries, cakes, and desserts. Cassia cinnamon is used for pastries too. However, its spicy flavor makes it more suitable for braised Chinese meat recipes.

Texture

It is almost impossible to distinguish between Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon when they are in powder form. But the sticks are different. Ceylon cinnamon sticks, thin and papery, are known for fragility. You know you have a Ceylon cinnamon if you roll it up, and it forms multiple layers. On the other hand, Cassia cinnamon has a thick and rough bark. It is tough to grind and creates a few firm layers when rolled up.

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Price

Price is an important differentiating factor between these two varieties of cinnamon. Because Ceylon is a rare variety of cinnamon, its price is about ten times the Cassia cinnamon price.

Color

You can spot the distinction between the two kinds of cinnamon from the outward appearance. While Cassia cinnamon is reddish dark brown, Ceylon cinnamon comes in tan brown.

Cassia cinnamon bundle.
Cassia cinnamon.

What Is Korintje Cinnamon — Different Strands of Korintje Cinnamon

Most commercial bakeries and almost any gourmet chef you find in the U.S. utilize Korintje cinnamon because of its comparatively low price and familiar, delicious flavor. Grade A Korintje cinnamon, of the highest quality, has 2% to 3% cinnamon oil. In general, the cinnamon brands available at grocery stores source grade B or C Indonesian cinnamon, which has a significantly lower oil content.

Premium, Grade A cinnamon delivers the most concentrated flavor and fragrance among all Indonesian cinnamon grades. The Grade A “quills” must be harvested in one-meter pieces, along with the wild tree’s main trunk, whereas lower grade cinnamon quill is harvested from the branches.

Grade B comes from the tree branches. Large sheets of bark are cut off and sundried for a few days. Once dried, they naturally curl into a few layers of quills and are taken to market in that form.

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What Are the Uses of Korintje Cinnamon?

Korintje cassia cinnamon is employed in baked goods that require a high level of sweetness, such as bread, cookies, ice cream, cakes, pastries, puddings, and pies. The intense flavor of cinnamon, in many cases, can enable you to use less sugar than some recipes commonly require. Some interesting savory dishes also use it in intricate ways, like dumplings, pickles, chutneys, meat glazes, soups, squash, stews, and vinegar. It is also commonly used to make flavorful foods like lamb tagines, curries, and gram masala.

Korintje cinnamon also provides a spectacular enhancement to hot beverages like cocoa, cider, tea, and coffee. Many large stockers of microbrew also use cassia cinnamon in their beers.

Indonesian cinnamon goes good with chocolate, yogurt, nuts, apples, apricots, blueberries, bananas, cherries, oranges, and even vegetables—specifically cauliflower, corn, carrots, onions, corn, tomatoes, and spinach.

Other herbs and spices that are great companions to cinnamon are black pepper, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves. But be careful when seasoning your food with cinnamon. If you overcook it, it can become a bit bitter.

Cinnamon cookies.
Delicious cinnamon cookies.

What is Korintje Cinnamon: Taste Strategy

With its high concentration of fragrant essential oil, Korintje cinnamon provides a robust and subtly sweet cinnamon taste. Korintje is considered the best of all varieties of Cassia cinnamon. It comes from the bark of the cassia tree and comes in grades A, B, and C. Grade A is harvested from the tree’s main trunk. It is richer in essential oils and, as such, has a sweeter taste as well as a more pungent aroma and intense spice than the rest.

Cinnamon tastes amazing both in liquid and in powdered form. But cinnamon extract and cinnamon oil are more concentrated sources of flavor than ground cinnamon.

What is Korintje Cinnamon — Storage and Preservation

As a powder or as quills, cinnamon does not thrive in a tropical climate. It is best stored in a cool, dark place. An airtight container in a pantry is a perfect place to keep it preserved. Even though cinnamon sticks last a lifetime, ground cinnamon doesn’t. The whole quills retain their flavor and aroma indefinitely while the powdered one quickly becomes stale, losing its flavor and aroma. Therefore, it is best to buy it in small quantities. A smart option is to buy the whole quills in large amounts, and gradually grate a little as you need it.

What is Korintje Cinnamon — Its Uses

*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider. Information and statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

As food seasoning: Korintje cinnamon is a rich kind of cinnamon well suited for culinary purposes. It is used to season different types of food. It lends a fantastic aroma to fruit dishes, rice puddings, soups, and even coffee beverages. Korintje cinnamon is also perfect for baking. Due to its ideal blend of flavor and affordability, it is often used in bakeries.

As a nutritional agent: Cinnamon is a common ingredient in Indian food menus (and other places) as it is believed to be an excellent enhancement to nutrition.

As Medicine: Cinnamon may have wonderful qualities for human health. Its medicinal properties may be used to fight infections and protect the body from cell-damaging agents. It could possibly be used to help illnesses like coughing, hoarseness, and sore throats.

As a preservative: One of the things cinnamon is valued for is its preservative qualities. It contains phenols, which kills the bacteria responsible for spoilage. It is also appreciated for masking the stench of stale meat.

As an embalming mixture: In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used in embalming corpses. Body cavities were filled with cinnamon to preserve the bodies.

For perfumes: Cinnamon is also used as an ingredient in the formulation of perfumes. It gives off a soft floral fragrance that many find appealing.

Cinnamon cookies.
Cinnamon is a major ingredient in many delicious sweets, like cookies!

 

 

What Is Korintje Cinnamon — Health Benefits

Cinnamon is not just about adding flavor to food. The spice also acts as a healthy addition to our diet. Research has shown that Korintje cinnamon can possibly offer the following health benefits:

May help healthy digestion: A scientific study carried out on pigs showed that stomach gases from fermentation are linked to several gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, inflammable bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndromes, and tumor-related illnesses, but more conclusive evidence is needed. Cinnamon may help reduce the organ temperature by up to two degrees; hence, potentially aiding digestive tracts. The spice also contains antioxidants, which may help prevent damage to the stomach’s lining, as well as potentiially reduce inflammation and many gut diseases.

May act as laxative and help with stomach flu: Cinnamon is said to be potentially helpful with stomach flu. Stomach flu is a common nuisance in the fall and spring seasons. It occurs when the human body hasn’t adjusted to a new temperature, and stomach viruses and bugs are operating at their highest speeds. Stomach flu can be very annoying as it can cause nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

However, you can potentially help it with an ingredient like cinnamon. Boil a few Korintje cinnamon sticks for 25 minutes and let them rest in the water till it becomes red. For extra hydrogen peroxide-like effect, add in a few drops of fresh honey. You can also make a drinking mixture of cinnamon powder tea or even the bark oil. The anti-bacterial components in cinnamon, combined with its speedy reaction, potentially makes it effective against viruses.

May help with blood sugar: Studies have linked cinnamon to low insulin resistance and controlled blood sugar, but more conclusive evidence is needed. The spice is usually recommended for type 2 diabetes patients as it is believed to possibly balance blood sugar by increasing glucose intake.

May help prevent heart diseases: The antioxidants in cinnamon are great for your overall health and wellbeing. It may work to fight free radicals in the body and may help prevent the risk of several chronic diseases.

May help with hemorrhoids: About three to four adults experience hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. The actual causes of these swollen veins are unknown, but the anti-inflammatory properties in cinnamon oil may be able to help. Cinnamon bark essential oil may stimulate healthy tissue growth. Applying a mix of cinnamon bark essential oil and sweet almond oil as a treatment to the swollen parts may go a long way in healing them.

May help combat allergies: Cinnamon contains essential oils that may help with various allergies and could boost the immune system.

May help protect body cells: Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants that may protect the body from bacterial and fungal infections. They may help fight agents against the wellbeing of your cells and could repair tissue damage. An application of cinnamon oil and honey around wounds could help healing.

May help with skin problems: Cinnamon consists of anti-bacterial properties, which may help in getting rid of dead skin cells, excess oil secretion, and acne or pimple breakouts. Cinnamon oil may be a beneficial addition to your skincare routine.

May help enhance emotional health: Aside from its potential therapeutic properties, cinnamon may help with emotional health. In Ayurvedic medicine, an Indian holistic system, cinnamon is used to balance emotional energy.

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What Can Be Used as Koritnje Cinnamon?

While nothing can give an exact replication of cinnamon, there are a few substitutes you can use in its absence. Whether you are allergic to cinnamon or you just ran out of it, these are the spices you can turn to for giving a flavor that’s close to cinnamon.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg, with an incredible amount of sweetness, is the closest spice to cinnamon. And like cinnamon, nutmeg contains antioxidants to reduce cellular damage. You can use a one-to-one measure while substituting cinnamon with nutmeg.

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Mace

The blend of tart and sweet flavor in mace makes it a suitable replacement for cinnamon.

Allspice

Allspice will also lend some sweetness to your recipe. Substitute the required amount of cinnamon in a recipe with a quarter of the amount. You should get a result close to the quality of cinnamon.

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Cloves

The sweet and earthy flavors in cloves make it the perfect spice to replace cinnamon.

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Curry powder

Curry powder offers an abundance of aromatic flavor to a cinnamon recipe as it usually contains cinnamon itself. So, it can be used as a quick replacement for cinnamon. However, in the case of allergy to cinnamon, a few spices can be thrown together. A combination of turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, salt, ginger, black pepper, cloves, onion, bay leaves, nutmeg, celery seed, and cayenne pepper will do.

Cloves and ginger

Ginger blends well with cloves. Equal parts of the two for one-third of the amount of cinnamon the recipe needs make a good alternative for cinnamon. The combination will give off acidity and a citric flavor similar to cinnamon.

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Best Organic Apple Pie with Cinnamon

There are many snack recipes that call for cinnamon. However, on top of that list stands apple pie. Apple pies are excellent. They are suitable for a lone meal, perfect for a family dinner, and completely easy to make. You don’t have to be accredited as a baker to make well-flavored apple pies. This recipe will help you channel your inner Anna Olson.

For this recipe, the use of organic ingredients is the real deal. Of course, you can improvise with regular ones. To make the learning easy, I have categorized the recipe into different levels of the baking process. Now, let’s get to work.

How to Make Pie Crust

For a 10-inch pie crust, you need:

  • ½ cup very cold non-dairy butter (cut into pieces)
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 to 8 tablespoons of iced water

Blend the cold butter pieces, flour, and salt with a food processor for a few seconds. Then, pour in some iced water through the top feeder and process till a dough ball forms and loses stickiness. Lightly flour your clean work surface, gather the dough into a ball, and form a flat round shape.

Sprinkle flour on your rolling pin, and roll out the dough 2 inches larger than the inverted pie plate. Transfer the rolled out pastry to a buttered pie plate and gently punch the dough into the container. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Trim the overhanging pastry, ½ inch from the rim of the plate. Then, fold and roll the top edge of the crust under the lower edge, and press the rim to seal. You can push with a fork if you want to get fancy and decorative.

Apple pie.
Cinnamon is a great addition to apple pie!

How to Make Apple Pie Filling

To fill a 10-inch pie crust, you need:

  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of light brown sugar
  • A splash of lemon juice (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 cups thinly sliced pared organic apples
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the topping:

  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup firm butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Before anything, heat your oven to 425F. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a bowl, and stir in the sliced apples.

Turn the mixture into the pie plate lined with pastry. Then, mix your topping ingredients (minus the cream). Press together with your fingers until the butter absorbs the flour and sugar. The result should be a crumble of large flat flakes.

Back to your pie plate. Pour the topping over the entire pie. Then, tuck the overlapping pie crust under (make sure to keep the crust sitting up). You can also cover the pie with another rolled-out dough.

To prevent the pie from burning during baking, make a fence around the pie with foil. You should also make holes with a fork on top of the dough (if you covered it). The holes will allow heat to escape, and as such, there won’t be a steam buildup in your baking. And if you want to get extra, you can beat an egg yolk with a splash of water and brush over the dough at the edge of the pan.

Bake the crust for 40 to 50 minutes till it becomes golden brown. You can tell your spicy apple pie is ready when juice begins to bubble through the pastry.

Now, slowly pour the heavy cream over the pie and return to oven for about 5 minutes. And that’s it, your delicious cinnamon apple pie ready to be eaten. You want to let it cool before eating, though.

Healthy Cinnamon Smoothie Recipe

Having gone over the nutritional benefits of cinnamon, there is barely any need to reiterate. However, a nice glass of cinnamon smoothie now and then is a great way to watch your sugar intake. Asides from that, cinnamon tastes great in drinks. A little hint of cinnamon in a creamy smoothie never goes wrong.

Amidst several smoothies, this cinnamon smoothie recipe is healthy, tastes fantastic, and will take you no more than five minutes to whip up. To make it, you need:

  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground Korintje cinnamon
  • 1 cup of chard (any color works)
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • ½ banana

Pour the chard and almond milk into a food processor or a smoothie maker, and blend for a while. Pour in the cinnamon, banana, and the frozen berries, and blend until desired smoothness is achieved. Pour into a clean glass and enjoy.

Smoothies.
Want to add some extra zing to your favorite smoothies? Try some cinnamon!

How to Clean Cinnamon-Stained Dishes

Yes, the apple pie was lovely. The smoothie tasted great too. But did you know that spices and oils can leave stains on dishes? While a plate would have to go through repeated use to get permanent stains, you don’t want that to happen.

I know I would regret eating that cinnamon-laced dish if my favorite white ceramic dish gets ruined because of it. I think you would too. But then, you don’t have to find out. Maintain a good dishwashing routine, and you can prevent your dishes from getting permanent food stains and keep your fork and knives shiny. I’ll go over the two products I use in washing my dishes and cooking equipment.

Champion’s Ultra Concentrated Degreaser

The Ultimate Grease Slayer.

I use Champion’s Ultra Concentrated Degreaser for my plate washing. This product is perfect for cleaning all kinds of kitchen utensils, from ceramic to plastic. It not only wipes off grease and grime, but it also gets rid of stains, not leaving single trace behind.

In my previous experience using specific dish cleaning products, I found that they leave a residue that attracts dirt and contaminants to dishes. That was very stressful as it meant more cleaning and more buying of cleaning products. Some of them also contain harmful chemicals. However, with Champion’s Ultra Concentrated Degreaser, I efficiently and safely clean my dishes and cooking equipment with ease.

I not only use kitchen cleaner for my utensils, I practically clean my whole kitchen with it (floors and counters included). Every time I wash my kitchen counters with this super cleaner, I get super relaxed, knowing no bacteria will be left. And when my drain gets clogged, all I need to do the work is pour a mixture of water and ½ tablespoon of the degreaser down the drain. By the next morning, the coast is clear.

Another thing I noticed when I clean with this perfect kitchen degreaser is that pests are kept away. What cockroaches or flies would want to stay in such a clean place!

The Ultra Concentrated Degreaser comes in a 32 oz. bottle, yet makes 256 gallons of cleaner when mixed with water! Talk about incredible value!

Champions Stainless Steel Scrubber

Stainless steel scrubber 4.

While I’ve always loved baking, cleaning pans is not something I looked forward to. The baked-on grease can be annoyingly stubborn. But with Champion’s Stainless Steel Scrubber, I clean with ease.

Now, I start by wetting the pan first and spread Champion’s degreaser all over the surface. Personally, I let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then, I wet my scrubber, scrub the pan thoroughly, and rinse with water. And that’s it. All signs of baked-on grease are gone!

I also use this stainless steel scrubber for my pots, grills, and ovens, and it is absolutely wonderful — no rusting, no souring, just a blend of effectiveness and durability.

Final Thoughts

That is it. Everything you need to know about Korintje cinnamon (origin, health benefits, storage methods, and more). So, when next you’re asked the question, “What is Korintje cinnamon?” I hope you have a detailed answer to that.

*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider. Information and statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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