In the context of interesting facts about true Ceylon cinnamon, did you know that:
- In the Book of Exodus 30:25, the Lord tells Moses to mix cinnamon, myrrh, cassia, fragrant reed with olive oil and make myrrh from them for sacred anointing, and also to anoint the Ark of the Covenant with them.
- The Roman emperor Nero burned a year’s supply of cinnamon in the city, grieving the death of his wife Poppaea Sabina, whom, by the way, he ordered to be stoned to death in a fit of jealousy and anger. It is said that the emperor’s remorse for his sin dissipated faster than the aroma of cinnamon, which had been wafting over Rome for more than a month.
- At the beginning of the last century, cinnamon was worth almost 15 times more than silver, and in ancient Greece, 35 kg of cinnamon gave 5 kg of gold, which was still not very expensive. In some countries, 1 kg of cinnamon was exchanged for 1 kg of gold. And the Arabs should be “thanked” for this, who convinced the buyers that cinnamon was obtained by taking it from huge birds, whose nests are made of cinnamon sticks, through inhuman efforts and great risk. Such fables provided the Arabs with a monopoly on the spice trade for 3,000 years. The Portuguese, who arrived in Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 15th century, saw the real source of the spice’s origin. Without thinking long, the Portuguese overthrew the local lords, destroyed the dissenters, captured the entire island, taking control of the spice trade.
- There are more than 2,000 species of cinnamon, and they belong to the same plant family Lauraceae, which includes the avocado and the bay leaf.
- Nowadays, only 5% of true cinnamon on the world “spice market” comes from Ceylon. Most of the real cinnamon from Sri Lanka is bought by Mexico, where, among other ingredients, this spice is used to make cocoa and chocolate. Only a small amount of Ceylon cinnamon reaches the European spice market, which partly explains its high cost.
According to legend, the creators of the chain of famous Cinnabon bakeries, specializing in cinnamon buns (of the unique Makara variety from Indonesia), in 1985, when opening the first bakery, did not invest a single penny in advertising and marketing of their products. On the day of the presentation, they simply opened the doors of the bakery, allowing the incomparable aroma of cinnamon to cloud the heads of visitors and passers-by. When the owner came to check how the first day of sales was going, he stopped by. a bakery queue of three dozen people.
Connoisseurs of the aroma and taste of real cinnamon may find this story true. But! Cinnamon does not grow in Indonesia, even by special order. Only cassia. If Cinnabon used Ceylon spice, their buns would be three times more flavorful, but also five times more expensive.