Quảng Nam Cinnamon
Name: Cinnamon, Kanel, Quế Trà My, Cinnamomum Loureiroi
Origin: Quảng Nam highlands, Central Vietnam
Farmer: Tre Leng Community
Harvest: Nov 2020
Character: Sweet, spicy, woody
Pair with: Chocolate, chili, Sichuan Pepper, Long Pepper, star anise, tomato.
We source our Quang Nam Cinnamon at an altitude at about 1500 m above sea level in the highlands in central Vietnam on the borders of Laos. The tree is indigenous to the nearby Truong Son forest and has long been considered sacred by the local communities due to its many medicinal abilities.
The cultivation of this particular variety, locally called Tra My Cinnamon, is an ancient practice by many ethnic groups in the area and is quite unique. It takes 10 years before the bark of the tree matures into the highest quality. Once ready a cut at the base of the tree lets the bark dry for a couple of weeks before harvesting. This method of drying captures the essential oils and makes for an incredible product.
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Cooking and baking with this spice is wonderful. It fuses beautifully with other flavors and just adds a sweet depth that is unmistakable. It is a main ingredient in the Chinese 5 spice and goes well with cumin, Sichuan pepper, clove, star anise, allspice, chili and pepper. Add early in dishes to release the flavor and get a real savory dish.
Using this cinnamon is a must if you are to make a real tasty Vietnamese Pho broth or meat stew. Indonesian beef Rendang gets an extra kick as well as Jamaican jerk rubs.
It goes well with lamb and red meats and we use a dash of it regularly in tomato sauces and soups. But one of the absolute best ways is to bake with it. If used in cinnamon rolls the sweet flavor requires less sugar and adds a spicy punch to the bake as well as in banana bread.
Quang Nam Cinnamon is a heirloom variety of cinnamon that rarely leaves Vietnam and if it does most of it is exported to China where is favourited by the top chefs and manufactures. And we understand why.
This cinnamon, Cinnamon Laurilei, has such unique, spicy sweet flavor that no other varieties come close. We love it, especially since we are heavy users of cinnamon when cooking chilis, tomato sauces, broths and baking cinnamon rolls.