Full of sweet and stimulating essential oils, cinnamon is a long-time favourite for invigorating, warming and generally making life more delicious.
The term cinnamon refers to the aromatic bark of many different, yet closely related species. The cinnamon we use at Pukka is the ‘cassia’ variety, which comes from several different Cinnamomum species in South East Asia; C. aromaticum, C. burmanni, C. bejolghota coming from Vietnam, Indonesia and India. These varieties contain the highest levels of the delicious and therapeutic essential oils.
Cinnamon from Forest Gardens
Cinnamon is often grown in semi-wild ‘forest gardens’. To the untrained eye it is hard to distinguish a tropical forest garden from a forest, but they are in fact carefully designed and highly efficient ‘agro-ecosystems’ that can contain an incredible diversity of multi-purpose herbs, shrubs and trees.
Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance
Our Vietnamese cinnamon comes from a Fairtrade certified project in the hills of north Vietnam. The Fairtrade agreement ensures that the cinnamon farmers are paid a premium price and an additional sum is donated to the farmers’ cooperative to support social projects, which has helped the local community build a kindergarten and a bridge in the village.
Further south our Indonesian cinnamon comes from a project that is Rainforest Alliance certified; this means that the producers must adhere to the rigorous standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), which provides assurance that farmers, farm workers, wildlife and the rainforest benefit equally from the trade of cinnamon.
Tall Tales of Cinnamon
Until the 16th century the origins of cinnamon were a fiercely guarded secret; global trade was controlled by wealthy Arabs who protected their monopoly and justified exorbitant prices by fabricating extraordinary tales, including how cinnamon was only found in giant birds’ nests perched on insurmountable mountain peaks, or in deep canyons guarded by flying snakes!
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