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Vietnamese cinnamon, also known as Saigon cinnamon, is one of the most popular ingredients found in the spice racks of those who like to bake. If you keep lots of baking tools or a whole bakeware set constantly to hand, then chances are you’re used to using cinnamon.
This Saigon cinnamon is a close relative to cassia, and is closer to that than the ‘true’ cinnamon – though it is in the same genus as both.
About Vietnamese Cinnamon
There are many different types of cinnamon out there, each with their own slight differences. The easiest way to know what type of cinnamon you are getting is to consider the grading scale. Cinnamon can be graded as either A, B, or C, which tells you how strong the flavouring is. If the cinnamon has an A grade, then that means it is going to be highly pungent and strong. A C grade cinnamon on the other hand will be slightly more bitter.
The amount you put into your cooking, as well as the type of cooking you have in mind, will determine which the right type of cinnamon is for you.
It is often thought that Vietnamese cinnamon in particular has the superior flavor and aroma as compared with all other types of cinnamon – that’s more than enough reason to get it in your spice grinder!
This cinnamon is largely imported in the form of an essential oil however and is added that way. It is the oleoresins which are the most potent active ingredient. It is grown in the Saigon district of Vietnam (hence the name) but it can also be found in Brazil and the Sychelles.
Vietnamese Cinnamon Uses in Cooking
When using any type of cinnamon, it is common to add to bakes. For instance, you can use it with some eggs, a flour sifter, and a sugar bowl to make a variety of spicy cakes. It’s also commonly used with other ingredients like nutmeg in order to make spiced hot beverages.
The best way to get to grips with any herb or spice of course is to try cooking with it and see how it affects the overall flavor. One great recipe using cinnamon then is this muffin. You will need:
- 2 medium eggs
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 250ml milk
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 2tsp Vietnamese cinnamon
- 400g self-raising flour
- Pinch of salt
To make this one, you will mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, oil, and milk) and then sift in the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. You can even add more cinnamon and remove the sugar altogether if you want to make the muffin that much healthier. You can also vary it by adding a whole range of different additional ingredients – like vanilla essence or even bits of apple!
Take a moment to try and taste the cinnamon in this mixture as you prepare it and you should be able to see precisely what it is doing for your meal.
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