What Is Wild Cinnamon?
Wild Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is a type of cinnamon which grows wild in tropical regions of the world. Its name comes from its native place, Ceylon, where it was first discovered in 1891. It is not only used for flavoring food products but also for medicinal purposes due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The species is known to have different forms. One form is the wild variety, which grows in tropical regions of India, Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia. Another form is cultivated, which are grown commercially in Europe and North America.
The latter type has been called Ceylon cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon seedling because it originated from the island of Ceylon in the Indian Ocean.
How Does Wild Cinnamon Grow?
Wild cinnamon grows in the trees’ branches and leaves. They are usually found at altitudes between 2,000–4,500 feet (650–1,100 meters). These plants grow in dense clusters with up to 20 seeds per cluster. The seeds germinate after several months and then sprout into new shoots within one year. After five years they reach a height of two feet (60 centimeters), although some varieties may live longer than 10 years!
Where Does Cinnamon Come From?
Cinnamon is native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). It is also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Other than being a delicious addition to meals, wild cinnamon has health properties that can be ingested.
Why Should You Use Cinnamon?
It is important to use cinnamon in your cooking routine because it adds a delicious flavor. The spice is also known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Cinnamon is powerful enough to stop the growth of cancer cells, which makes it a wonderful addition to any health routine.
Why Should You Use Ceylon Cinnamon?
There are varieties of cinnamon that do not offer the same effects as Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon may be slightly more expensive than other forms of cinnamon, but with its many benefits, it is a worthwhile investment.
If you’re interested in buying wild cinnamon, here are some tips to follow:
Ceylon Cinnamon vs. Cassia Cinnamon
Most of the cinnamon sold in supermarket is actually a type of Cassia cinnamon, also known as Chinese cinnamon. While it has similar flavorings to that of Ceylon cinnamon, this type is inferior in taste and beneficial properties.
Where To Find Wild Cinnamon
Since wild cinnamon comes from a tropical region, it is not as readily available in many places that do not fall within this climate zone. However, you can find it in areas with a subtropical climate such as California, a location rich with organic farms that provide fresh and nutritious food.
Stop by some of these mom & pop shops for the freshest wild cinnamon on the market!
The fresh, nutritious and delicious taste of wild cinnamon is just a short drive away. Come find your favorite brand at some of these local grocers:
Jack’s Farmers Market: This market is dedicated to providing you with only the freshest selection of fruits, vegetables, meats and more. They have been hailed as one of the best in the area and, even better, they are open every day from 8am-10pm.
Celestial Food Mart: This grocery store has been family-owned since 1982, so you can trust that they have been providing quality customer service and products for many years. They are open Monday-Sunday, 9am-9pm.
Longs Drugs Stockton: Longs Drugs has a chain of pharmacy and grocery stores throughout California. Stop by any of their locations for all of your health and grocery needs!
Vons: This grocery store has a chain of locations throughout California as well. They are open from 7am-11pm, so no matter when you have the urge to try some wild cinnamon, they’ll be open!
Trader Joes: Open from 8am-9pm, this grocery store is a wonderful place to pick up some wild cinnamon.
Your Local Farm Stand: Many small farms in the area sell their fresh produce directly to the public. If you have the time, swing by one of these farms and pick up some wild cinnamon!
With the many grocers and markets in the area, you won’t have any trouble tracking down some wild cinnamon for your next meal. Pick up a bottle today!
Other Local Farms Near You:
Cloverdale Farms (15 Miles)
Frey Ranch (20 miles)
Roland Farms (20 Miles)
Saunders Brothers (35 Miles)
Creekside Farms (40 miles)
Harbin Ranch (45 Miles)
Weaver Ranch (50 miles)
Keller Farms (55 miles)
Tanimura & Antle (60 miles)
Yolo Farm Fresh (70 Miles)
Boggs Ranch (80 miles)
Peltzer Farm (85 miles)
Common Questions About the Cinnamon Found in These Stores
Does the Cinnamon go Bad?
Cinnamon purchased from your local grocer or health food store has a tendency to spoil more quickly than the cinnamon found at your local farmer’s market. While it won’t make you sick, it will lose its flavor and aroma. For the best result, it’s recommended to buy only as much cinnamon as you need for your recipe. You can also store your extra cinnamon in an airtight container for up to three months.
Are These Types of Cinnamon really from Ceylon?
While these types of cinnamon come from the island of Ceylon, there is no way to know which exact region or plantation it came from. Regardless, the type of cinnamon you see in these stores are still organic and good for consumption. Each bottle contains at least 8oz of cinnamon and is good for up to one year from the production date.
How Much Does it Cost?
One bottle of this organic cinnamon can be purchased from grocery, health food or personal supply stores for about $4.00 to $9.00, depending on the brand. Be sure to check the label or online to see where it is sold nearest you!
Using the Cinnamon from these Stores to Make Soap
Now that you have your organic cinnamon, it’s time to transform it into a workable material for your craft. This is a fairly simple process and only requires a few tools: a sharp knife or blade, an oven and some parchment paper.
Step 1: Cut Up Your Cinnamon
Take your sharp knife or blade and chop the cinnamon into small bits. These bits should be small enough to fit through your grater, but not too small (a little bigger than kosher salt is good). You can also use ground cinnamon, just make sure it’s real cinnamon and not cassia.
Cassia has a different taste and odor compared to its Ceylon counterpart.
Step 2: Put It in the Oven
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, while this step can be done at a higher temperature, heat causes cinnamon to burn faster so it’s best to keep it around this temperature. Lay out your parchment paper and spread the cinnamon out evenly on the tray. It does not necessary have to be a single layer, but should be as close as you can get it.
Step 3: Bake It
Put the tray in your oven and set your timer for one hour. After an hour, remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool. At this point, it should be a darker color with a more damp feeling.
It will still be light in weight and have a strong aroma of cinnamon.
Step 4: Crush and Grind It
If desired crush the larger bits to a smaller size for different effects. You can keep the cinnamon as is for a chunkier texture or grind it in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or coffee grinder until you reach the desired consistency.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Your cinnamon is now ready to use in your soap or other craft projects! Continue with your recipe as normal, if the soap ends up being a little darker than you expected due to the oven process just add a little bit of activated charcoal to lighten it back up.
You now have a variety of options with your homemade cinnamon. You can leave it as chunks to give your soap a rough and gritty appearance or grind it into a fine powder for a smoother look. Either way, this cinnamon by itself is a lovely addition to any project!
We hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and get to work on your own soap soon! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Customer Support.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of cinnamon oil on incidence of anthracnose disease and postharvest quality of bananas during storage. by M Mehdi, A Asgar, PG Alderson – International Journal of …, 2010 – cabdirect.org
Responses of captive and wild possums to lures used in poison baiting by DR Morgan, J Innes, CM Frampton… – New Zealand Journal …, 1995 – Taylor & Francis
The chemistry and technology of cinnamon by ROB Wijesekera, CO Chichester – Critical Reviews in Food Science …, 1978 – Taylor & Francis
Antimicrobial effect of cinnamon extract. by PC Hsieh – Taiwanese Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Food …, 2000 – cabdirect.org
Transmission of avocado sunblotch disease to cinnamon. by JV Da Graca, SP Van Vuuren – Plant Disease, 1980 – cabdirect.org