Ground Korintje Cinnamon: Flavor Profile
Korintje is one of the more common cinnamon sold in the U.S. Dried cassina cinnamon bark is available as whole sticks, chips or ground. The Korintje has a darker complexion than Ceylon cinnamon, and the cinnamon’s aroma tends to be bolder and spicier. This is an ideal cinnamon for everyday use – a unique, yet traditional flavor.
Cooking with Korintje Cinnamon
Translated as “thick quill” – due to the bulkier bark of the tree its produced from – Korintje is one of the more common types of cinnamon found in the U.S. Korintje has a smoother, slightly sweeter taste compared to Ceylon cinnamon, and that makes it an ideal spice for baking or in savory dishes. Although cinnamon is well-know for its use in baking, it has numerous culinary uses A few common uses for ground Korintje cinnamon include:
- Baking – In baking, cinnamon can be mixed with other warm-noted spices like clove or nutmeg to add a sweet, yet spicy kick to cakes, cookies, pies and puddings.
- Savory Dishes – Yet, cinnamon is also versatile for giving savory dishes hints of sweet bitterness. Use cinnamon in chutneys, curries, soups and sauces, as well as on applesauce, meat or fish.
- Drinks – Korintje cinnamon, thanks to its sweeter, smoother profile, works well in beverages. Use it to garnish a cup of cocoa, or to add flavor to cider or tea.
Korintje Cinnamon: Cultivation
Korintje cinnamon is actually made from cassia, a tree that’s closely related to the cinnamon tree. Cassia, though, has a thicker bark than traditional cinnamon trees.
Korintje is grown in the mountainous regions of Indonesia. There, the wild tree thrives naturally in the forest, thanks to the humid, tropical climate. Indonesian cassia takes many years to grow. The bark is harvested from wild grown cassia trees. But typically, the best bark comes from trees that are 15-20 years old.
The most flavorful cinnamon comes from the areas lowest on the trunk. This bark has the highest concentration of essential oils – as much as 2-3 percent.
This type of cinnamon comes in many qualities. Grades B and C Koriintje, for instance, is produced from bark from the tree’s branches. Grade A cinnamon is made from bark from the trunk, and the quills must be about three feet in length. Grade A Korintje has a higher concentration of essential oil content, which makes its flavor and aroma bolder and spicier.
Korintje cinnamon may have been used as early as 2700 B.C., as the cassia bark was a popular herb used in traditional Chinese healing. The cassia bark was used then for treating diarrhea, fevers and menstrual cramps. And it was similarly used by Ayurvedic healers in Indian and Southeast Asia for similar ailments.
By 500 B.C., korintje cinnamon had been brought to Egypt, and it was most commonly used as an additive in embalming tonics. In cooking, korintje cinnamon was first used by the Greeks and Romans as a spice, perfume and in herbal medicines. The Roman empire is credited with spreading the use of cinnamon as a cooking spice, although it wasn’t until the 17th century that korintje cinnamon had spread throughout Europe.
About Our Korintje Cinnamon
We work with established cinnamon farms in Sumatra, an island in Indonesia. Our farms are located in the shadows of Mount Kerinci, an active volcano surrounded by lush forests. Kerinci is one of the world’s most important producers of cassia cinnamon – in fact, the locals call cinnamon the “grass of Kerinci” because it grows here like weeds.
Cinnamon farmers in Kerinci plant cinnamon trees each year. Yet, they may only see a handful of harvests in their lifetime, as cassia trees must grow 10-15 years before they can be harvested. Burma Spice sources whole Korintje cinnamon quills from Kerinci, and we hand grind and package it in our spice shop in South Florida.