|Landscape with Indonesian cinnamon trees in Western Sumatra|
|Indonesian cinnamon tree with flowers (this year’s leaves are red)|
Ceylon cinnamon(which has better reputation and higher price). Although most agree that Ceylon cinnamon is the best, Ceylon and Indonesian cinnamon types are rated similarly and much above the cassia (Chinese cinnamon), at least in Europe; in the USA, amazingly, cassia is the more common quality, although for baking many cooks switch to Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia has a coarser fragrance, a somewhat bitter and astringent taste and contains much more mucilaginous components. It is very difficult to judge the value of Vietnamese cinnamon; in Europe, is has poor reputation.
Rather surprisingly, Indonesians do not use cinnamon frequently. It sometimes appears in sweets, or is added to (Indian or Arabic influenced) meat stews in small amounts; a well-known example is rendang, a spicy beef stew very popular in Western Sumatra (see galanga).
Ceylon cinnamon is traded in form of slender and fragile quills, composed of very thin (thickness one millimeter or less) bark layers. The colour is a light reddish–brown.
Indonesian cinnamon, in contrast, is much thicker (1 to
Chinese cinnamon or cassia is normally not peeled
that carefully as the former two; therefore, the outer surface looks uneven and
rough, dark brown in colour. Sometimes, originating points of branches are
discernible. The bark chunks are very thick
Vietnamese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon looks
similar to the Chinese species, but the pieces are usually smaller and thinner;
on the outer surface, remainders of lichen growth are frequently discernible.