Cassia, also known as cinnamon, is a spice mainly obtained from Chinese cassia. It is mainly used as a flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines due to its cinnamon aroma and flavor. It has also a long history in traditional medicine in China. The term ‘cinnamon’ describes its mid-brown colour.
It is typically obtained from the inner bark of numerous tree species with the genus Cinnamonum. It is primarily obtained from an evergreen tree named Cinnamomum cassia, as known as Chinese cassia, which originas in southern China. It is found cultivated in China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Chinese cassia is produced in both China and Vietnam. Vietnam was the world’s most important producer, as its cassia has higher oil content, until the 1960s. The disruption caused by the Vietnam War lead to a decrease in Vietnam production of cassia, which causes a rise in the production of Indonesian cassia to meet the high demands.
They are mainly used in food as flavoring additives and spices. They are also a popular choice for the flavoring in alcohol beverages.