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True Spice Cinnamon

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Cinnamon is a highly valued commodity that has been historically in demand for thousands of years.


The Egyptians regarded it as more precious than gold and used it as a healing medicine, in cooking and also as an embalming agent. The Hebrew Tanakh (Christian Old Testament) references the :


“Take thou also unto thee principle spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels and of sweet cinnamon half so much …….. and of cassia five hundred shekels…… and thou shall make it an oil of Holy ointment… it shall be a Holy anointing oil……..”


Cinnamon was thus one of the ingredients that went to make the oil that was used to anoint the sacred vessels of the tabernacle. But it must be noted that even in those times the Cinnamon originating from Sri Lanka was recognized and established as being of superior quality and greater acceptability than the variety known as Cassia. Ceylon Cinnamon was referred to as “sweet cinnamon”, and clearly distinguished from Cassia. Rosengarten, - the historian in the spice trade - goes on further :


“ It seems quite probable that the Chinese who traded with Ceylon were concerned in the discovery of the valuable qualities of the bark of the Sinhalese tree, similar but superior to the cassia of their own country……………. when the Sinhalese product was imported into Europe, its superior character was soon recognized and the spice fetched very high prices”


Rosengarten, F., (1969) :The Book of Spices. Livington Publishing Co.

Roman emperor Nero in A.D. 66 burned a year's supply of Rome's Cinnamon at the funeral of his queen as tribute to his grief.


Sri Lanka is the only country where Cinnamon is cultivated and distributed in a commercial system developed by the former Dutch colony.


True spice cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum)of the Sri Lankan type, which is identical to the Madagascan type and Seychelles type, which is the bark of the tree or shrub cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume.


There are records of trade in the spice originating in Sri Lanka, (then known as Ceylon, Ceylan and Zeylan).



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