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What is cassia

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Cassia and Cinnamon

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
Question: What is cassia
What is cassia? Is cassia another name for cinnamon? What is the difference?
Answer: You may be surprised to learn that most commercial ground cinnamon is actually cassia or a combination of cinnamon and cassia. This practice is permitted with no restriction by most countries, including the United States.

Native to Burma, cassia is botanically-known as Cinnamomum aromaticum or Cinnamomum cassia. It is a member of the same family as true cinnamon, but it has a stronger flavor thus requiring less in volume in recipes.

Cassia is usually a better choice for savory dishes, rather than sweets.

Dried cassia buds resembling cloves are used in the East for pickles, curries, candies and spicy meat dishes. Tiny yellow cassia flowers have a mild cinnamon flavor and are sold preserved in a sweetened brine and used to perfume sweets, fruits, teas and wines.

Cassia leaves may also be used as a flavoring in the same manner as bay leaves.

More About Cinnamon and Cassia:

Cinnamon and Cassia Selection, Storage and Usage
What is cassia?
Cinnamon and Health
Cinnamon History
Cinnamon Lore
Cinnamon Recipes
Cinnamon and Cassia Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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