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Vietnamese cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureiroi Nees.)


botanicalCinnamomum loureirii
Arabicقرفة سايغونية
Qirfah Saighonya
BelarusianВ’етнамская карыца
Vietnamskaja karyca
BulgarianВиетнамска канела
Vietnamska kanela
DanishVietnamesisk Kanel
EnglishSaigon cinnamon
EsperantoVjetnama cinamomo
FrenchCannelle de Saïgon, Cannelle de Cochinchine
GermanVietnamesischer Zimt, Saigon-Zimt
HungarianSaigon fahéj, Vietnámi fahéj
Korean일본계피, 사이공계피
Ilbon-gyepi, Saigong-gyepi
LithuanianSaigoninis cinamonas
PolishCynamonowiec sajgoński (tree)
RomanianScorțișoară vietnamezăScorţişoară vietnameză
RussianВьетнамская корица
Vetnamskaya koritsa
SpanishCanela de Saigón
Ob choey yuan
VietnameseQuế, Quế quì, Quế thanh hoá
Que, Que qui, Que thanh hoa
Cinnamomum loureiroi: Vietnamese cinnamon
Vietnamese cinnamon
Used plant part

Bark of young branches.

Plant family

Lauraceae (laurel family)

Sensory quality

Vietnamese cinnamon has a cassia-like flavour.

It is very difficult to judge the culinary value of Vietnamese cinnamon; the quality that was imported to Eastern Europe in the days of the Cold War was poor, similar to low-quality cassia. There are indications that Vietnam has better stuff to offer, but it’s not yet widely available in the West.

Main constituents

Vietnamese cinnamon bark contains 1 to 7% of essential oil; this is, at its upper limit, considerably more than found in other cinnamon species. In composition, Vietnamese cinnamon oil resembles that of Chinese cinnamon, i. e., mostly cinnamaldehyde with only traces of eugenol.

Cinnamaldehyde is also the main constituent of Vietnamese cinnamon root oil, but the leaf oil seems to be of different, yet unknown (to me) composition.


Northern Vietnam (border to Southern China).


See Sri Lanka Cinnamon for cinnamon, Chinese Cinnamon for cassia and Indonesian Cinnamon for canella and related forms. Designation in the style of Saigon cinnamon refer to Saigon [Sài Gòn, today Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh] as the main trading port for this commodity; the plant is not cultivated around Ho-Chi-Minh City, but grows much further in the north.

The botanical species epithet loureiroi is in honour to João de Loureiro (1717–1791), a Jesuit who travelled in South East Asia and reported a detailed description of the Vietnamese flora. In older literature, the name of the plants is given erroneously as Cinnamomum loureirii.

Selected Links Zimtaldehyd Sorting Cinnamomum names ( Recipe: Pho bo [phở bò] ( Recipe: Pho bo [phở bò] (

Cinnamomum loureiroi: Vietnamese cassia twig
Vietnamese cinnamon, branch with leaves
Saigon or Viet­namese cinnamon has now rather vanished from the European market. It has been much traded in East European countries before the fall of the Iron Curtain, but, for its low quality, is now hardly found outside Vietnam.

Vietnamese cinnamon frequently appears in North Vietnamese (Hanoi [Hà Nội] style) beef soup (pho bo [phở bò]). This specialty is made of bones, vegetables and meat by boiling these ingredients for as much as 12 hours; cinnamon and star anise are added for the last few hours. The broth is served as hot as possible with noodles, boiled meat, thin slices of raw beef, a variety of different vegetables and herbs (for example, coriander or mint leaves or young onion bulbs), raw egg yolk, chile and garlic. If you ever come to Hanoi, don’t miss it! On the topic of South Vietnamese soups, see Vietnamese coriander.

For a comparison of different cinnamon species, see Indonesian cinnamon.

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