I'm a huge fan of cinnamon. I love it in cakes and buns, in apple pie and of course in copious amounts all over donuts. But I have to say I have never thought about where cinnamon comes from. Have you?
This all changed when we visited Sri Lanka and were suddenly in a world where cinnamon was all around and its origins were common knowledge. Cinnamon is endemic to Sri Lanka and its sweet scent would often be the fragrance of choice at hotels and spas around the country. Even the bathrooms smelled like cinnamon! Well, I can think of much worse things so no complaints here.
During our travels around this island nation, we learned that 90% of the world's cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka! That's one small island and one huge amount of production! Even if you don't know much about Sri Lanka's colonial history, you can quickly start to understand why it's been so hotly contested over the centuries.
We took a tour with aptly named Cinnamon Nature Trails of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts to learn more about the spice trade and where this delicious addition to all things tasty actually comes from. Does it grow on trees? Your mother may have been wrong about this one.
Check out our latest video on one of the best experiences we had in Sri Lanka.
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We were hosted on this experience by Cinnamon Nature Trails for a completely different project unrelated to our blog. But we enjoyed it so much, we decided to share this experience with you here.
Tuesday 3rd of March 2015
That was very cool. Thanks for the video tour. I'm picky about cinnamon -- I like to bake -- and I've gotten two different kinds from spice shops in Los Angeles and Denver. The first is labeled Ceylon cinnamon, which is sweeter than the more spicy cinnamon that comes from Vietnam. The Vietnamese cinnamon definitely has a kick to it, not like the bland stuff you find in grocery stores -- it's more like the fireballs (jawbreaker candies) that I had as a kid. But it seems like the Ceylon cinnamon you guys had was pretty spicy, since Jessica called it peppery. So I am wondering if you guys tried any cinnamon during your trip in Vietnam, and if you could tell the difference.
Maybe it's all just a spice shop scam!
Jessica - Notes of Nomads
Thursday 12th of March 2015
Hi Autumn! We didn't try cinnamon in Vietnam so unfortunately can't really say if there's a difference. The fresh cinnamon that we did taste in Sri Lanka (as you saw in the video) was spicy. The tea, which we imagine was made from the ground spice, was super sweet (although sugar was most definitely added).
I guess we need to try more cinnamon around the world! Haha