Food

Difference Between Cassia and Cinnamon

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Main Difference

The main difference between Cassia and Cinnamon is that Cassia is identified as the Chinese Cinnamon that originates from the inner bark of an East Asian tree, whereas Cinnamon is the aromatic bark of the Cinnamomum tree of a Southeast Asian tree.

Cassia vs. Cinnamon

Cassia is extracted from the tree in Southern China; on the other hand, cinnamon is an aromatic and the rolled bark of a Southeast Asian tree. Cassia is one of the types of cinnamon, and it is known as Chinese cinnamon; on the flip side, cinnamon has two main types, and that is the cassia and Ceylon cinnamon.

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The cultivation of cassia is commonly seen in Southern China. It is exported mainly to the US and Asia; on the contrary, cinnamon is widely cultivated in the countries Sri Lanka and Southern India. It is primarily exported to Europe. Cassia is one of the most common and abundantly used types of cinnamon around the world; on the other hand, cinnamon is less widely used worldwide. Cassia identified by its dark reddish-brown color and high thickness; on the other hand, cinnamon is relatively thin, and it has a tan-brown color.

Cassia is in the form of double-sided roll sticks that is hollow inside; on the converse side, Ceylon cinnamon is a stick in the layered structure. Cassia has extraordinary amounts of cinnamaldehyde (C₆H₅CH=CHCHO) and coumarin; its regular use can be toxic. On the flip side of the coin, cinnamon has a lower amount of cinnamaldehyde and coumarin, and it is less toxic for daily use. Considering the flavor, cassia has a strong, and hotter flavor; on the other side, cinnamon has a comparatively mild flavor. Cassia is available at cheap rates as compared to cinnamon; on the other hand, cinnamon is expensive.

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Comparison Chart

CassiaCinnamon
Cassia is a type of Cinnamon originating from the inner bark of the trees in Southern China.Cinnamon is the inner bark of the tree “Cinnamomum verum,” which is native to Sri Lanka.
Structure
Double-sided roll sticks, hollow insideMultiple layered structures
Flavor
Its flavor is sweet and peppery.Its flavor is aromatic, warm, and sweet.
Also Known As
Chinese CinnamonCeylon cinnamon
Color
Reddish-brown to dark brownLight brown to tan
Cultivation
Southern ChinaSri Lanka and Southern India
Export
USA and AsiaEurope
Use
Abundantly usedLess widely used

What is Cassia?

Cassia, also known as Chinese Cinnamon, is the most abundant type of Cinnamon having its widespread use as a spice. It originates from the inner bark of the trees in Southern China. Some of the species of Cassia are found in Eastern and Southern Asia. Cassia is in the form of a thick hollow stick having a rough texture. It is dark brown to red color and is the cheapest form of Cinnamon. Its bark is thick; hence it is hard and tough to grind. Cassia is from Cinnamomum cassia or Cinnamomum aromaticum.

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Cassia is cultivated in Burma, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia and exported to the US and Asia. Cinnamaldehyde is the main component of Cinnamon. It is 95% of the oil in the Cassia. The aroma and spicy flavor of Cinnamon are because of this. Its larger quantity can be toxic due to the presence of cinnamaldehyde. Due to its intense spicy flavor, a large amount of Cassia gives a bitter taste. However, it is suitable for braised meat recipes. Cassia also contains coumarin that is a toxic compound. It harms the liver and kidney.

Features

  • Aroma: stronger and pungent
  • Flavor: sweet, peppery
  • Texture: rough and uneven
  • Color: reddish-brown to dark brown
  • Structure: double-sided roll sticks, hollow inside

What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is one of the most common spices with its frequent use worldwide in many recipes. There are two main types of Cinnamon, i.e., Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon. It is the inner bark of a tree known as “Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Blume.” This plant is native to Sri Lanka and other Southern parts of India. Ceylon cinnamon is also known by the name ‘true cinnamon.’ It is from “Cinnamomum verum,” that is native to Sri Lanka. The primary Cassia market is the US and Asia, and it is exported to Europe.

The color of the Ceylon cinnamon is tan-brown. Its inner bark is thin, and it contains multiple layers of soft layers. It is suitable for diabetes patients as it helps to lower the blood sugar. It has a delicate and sweet taste with the lighter notes of clove. It gives an excellent flavor and aroma to pastries, halwas, cakes, and desserts. Ceylon cinnamon is commonly available in the market, so it is expensive than the typical Cassia cinnamon. Cinnamon contains 50-63% cinnamaldehyde that is responsible for its aroma and flavor. It also contains fewer amounts of coumarin, which makes it less toxic and suitable for regular use.

Features

  • Aroma: Fragrant, delightful
  • Flavor: warm, aromatic and sweet
  • Texture: smooth and even
  • Color: light brown to tan
  • Structure: layered structure

Key Differences

  1. Cassia is known as the Chinese cinnamon that is the inner bark of the East Asian tree; in contrast, cinnamon is the aromatic bark of the Cinnamomum tree of a Southeast Asian tree.
  2. Cassia tastes stronger and hotter; on the other side, cinnamon is full of lighter, brighter citreous tones.
  3. Cassia cinnamon has rough and thick bark that forms a few layers; conversely, cinnamon is thin and with multiple layers.
  4. Cassia is one of the types of cinnamon, and it is known as the Chinese cinnamon; on the other hand, cinnamon has two main types, and that is the cassia and Ceylon cinnamon.
  5. Cassia is commonly seen in Southern China; on the contrary, cinnamon is frequently cultivated in the countries Sri Lanka and Southern India.
  6. Cassia is exported mainly to the USA, and Asia; inversely, cinnamon is shipped to Europe.
  7. Cassia is thick with a dark reddish-brown color and strong spicy flavor, while cinnamon is thin with a tan-brown color mild flavor.
  8. Cassia is one of the most common and abundantly used types of cinnamon, which is available at cheap rates; on the other side, cinnamon is less common and more expensive.
  9. Cassia has extraordinary amounts of cinnamaldehyde and coumarin; on the converse, cinnamon has a lower amount of cinnamaldehyde and coumarin.
  10. Cassia is one of the most common and abundantly used types of cinnamon around the world; on the contrary, cinnamon is less widely used.

Conclusion

Cassia and Cinnamon are the two common spices with different origins. Both are the inner bark of the trees that are native to distinct places. Cassia and Cinnamon can also be called as herbs that are different from each other based on their properties.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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