Organic Fairtrade Cinnamon Sticks / Quills 52g details and description
Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Cinnamon Quills are fantastically delicate paper-thin curled cinnamon bark. They are graded as "Export Fine Quills, C5 (or C-00000)", being 10cm long and c. 10mm in diameter. It is truly an artform as to how the skilled cinnamon farmers in Sri Lanka dexterously prepare the cinnamon quillings - they start by cutting away the outer bark and then using a brass rod, the cinnamon peelers bruise and loosen the remaining paper-thin layer and then carefully remove a 3 foot portion of moist, fragrant cinnamon bark, which is rolled up tight to dry into the gorgeously flavoured and magical organic cinnamon quills. There's a good set of pictures at the BBC website on the cinnamon process.
Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Cinnamon Quills have a sweet, perfumed, warm and pleasantly woody spice with no hint of bitterness. Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Cinnamon Quills are delicious and fragrant organic and cinnamon quills from Sri Lanka, coming usually from the Small Organic Farmers Association in Kandy, Sri Lanka. These organic cinnamon quills carry the Fairtrade Mark and are wonderful in curries, rice, puddings, or even mulled wine.
As one of the world's oldest spices, even being used by the Pharoahs, cinnamon comes from tropical, evergreen trees related to bay plants; in fact, cinnamon leaves are used throughout Southern Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine much like the British use bay leaves, but with a more clove-like flavour profile. Cinnamon trees grow to 8 - 17m tall (25 - 55ft) with a trunk diameter of 30-60cm (12-24 inches). The cinnamon leaves start a reddy colour, before turning light green then through to a darker, glossy green colouration. Cinnamon flowers are surprisingly small, pale yellow blossoms.
For processing cinnamon, the first stage is to train the tree by cutting the tree down to a stump 15cm (6 inch) above the ground. From this stump, up to 6 shoots are encouraged to grow for up to 2 years before harvesting. Cinnamon spice is prepared by skilled cinnamon peelers, who harvest shoots when they are 1.5m long (5ft) and 3cm in diameter (1 inch). Taking the cut shoot, the cinnamon peeler removes the outer corky bark, then rubs the stem to remove the paper-thin layer of cinnamon under-bark, which is then cut from the cinnamon shoot. This moist and citrus-smelling quill is rolled tight before being taken to dry in the warm shade. The result is a tightly rolled quilling of wafer-thin tan coloured bark, which can then be cut into a range of sizes for the retail customer. Shavings and trimmings from the cinnamon cutting and peeling process are dried and used to make the powder. This is the process used in India and Sri Lanka; for the lower quality, coarser cinnamon quills and powder that is often found on retailers' shelves, the source is usually from semi-wild cinnamon trees in the Seychelles. For more information on cinnamon, check out Ingredientia and Wikipedia.
Fairtrade cinnamon quills have a complex and fragrant citrus flavour that is full of exotic sweetness. Cinnamon's perfumed aroma is unique but has hints of clove, nutmeg and sandalwood. I love adding cinnamon quills to casseroles, finding they work well in beef and lamb stews. For further inspiration, go to Steenbergs Recipes and enter cinnamon for recipe ideas or try the BBC Website (but note that the photo they have is of cassia!).
Steenbergs organic cinnamon powder is a core part of the Steenbergs retail range of over 400 organic spices, peppers, herbs and flavoured sugars. To check your local Steenbergs stockist please click here, or you can ring us on 01765 640 088, or email us at email@example.com.