Cinnamon is a highly valued spice, and Indonesia is one of the significant producers of this aromatic bark. In Indonesia, two types of cinnamon are commonly produced and traded: Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) and Indonesian cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii). Here’s more about cinnamon from Indonesia:
- Cassia Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia):
- Also known as Chinese cinnamon, this type of cinnamon is more commonly cultivated in Indonesia. It has a strong, sweet flavor and is often considered a close substitute for true cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon).
- The trees are grown in the fertile volcanic soils of regions like West Sumatra, West Java, and North Sumatra. These areas provide the ideal conditions for cassia cinnamon to thrive.
- The bark of the cassia cinnamon tree is harvested and then dried, which causes it to curl into familiar quills or sticks.
- Cassia cinnamon is widely used in Indonesian cuisine, particularly in savory dishes like meat stews and curries, as well as in desserts and beverages.
- Indonesian Cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii):
- Also known as Korintje cinnamon, Indonesian cinnamon is a species native to Indonesia and is considered milder in flavor compared to cassia cinnamon.
- The Cinnamomum burmannii trees are primarily found in regions like West Sumatra and Southeast Sumatra, where the climate and soil are conducive to their growth.
- The bark of Indonesian cinnamon is thinner and has a lighter color than cassia cinnamon.
- Indonesian cinnamon is highly regarded for its use in baking, as it imparts a warm, sweet flavor to pastries, desserts, and drinks.
Both types of cinnamon are essential ingredients in Indonesian cooking and are widely used in traditional dishes and herbal remedies. Cinnamon is believed to have several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Indonesia plays a significant role in the global cinnamon market, and the spice has been an essential part of the country’s history and culture for centuries. Its popularity extends beyond Indonesia’s borders, as it is exported to various countries around the world, where it is used in a wide range of culinary and medicinal applications.