Saigon cinnamon aka Vietnamese cinnamon is stronger and more fragrant than any other cinnamon. And while it’s called Saigon cinnamon, it’s not produced in Ho Chi Ming (formerly known as Saigon). It’s made mostly in the Quảng Ngãi Province just outside Hanoi.
Surprisingly, the bark of the cinnamon tree contains the essential oil cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde makes the Saigon cinnamon smell and taste stronger than the common cinnamon found in most kitchens.
Photo Mae Mu
The bark gets cut into strips that are dried until they curl up. Sound familiar? It should, because those roll up strips are what we’ve come to know as cinnamon sticks. Once the sticks are dried they get ground into a powder form. So, if you got some cinnamon sticks laying around, you can always make your own ground cinnamon.
Furthermore, it’s loaded with the following health benefits.
- Cinnamaldehyde and another compound eugenol are rich in antioxidants
- Saigon cinnamon can help reduce blood sugar levels
- It can decrease inflammation in the body
- Preserves brain function by preventing the accumulation of a specific protein in the brain
- Promotes oral health by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria like streptococcus mutans which causes dental plaque.
photo Eliv-Sonas Aceron
Now way back in the day, the Egyptians used cinnamon for embalming folks. Who would’ve known, that today it’s one of the most commonly used spices in our pantries. Whether you’re sprinkling it on a warm beverage, adding it to a bread, dessert or a savory dish, the ways to use cinnamon are limitless. Ultimately, if you’re looking for more flavor I’d highly recommend some Saigon cinnamon that you can pick up at Kuiper’s Family Farm