Most people confuse Cassia with cinnamon because of their high resemblance. That’s why Cassia is also referred to as the Chinese Cinnamon. Though both spices have almost the same characteristics, they are different. This spice is strong, thick, and hard. And these traits do well to differentiate both the spices. Cassia belongs to the Lauraceae family of plants. It is an aromatic bark. Therefore, this spice is also called Cassia Bark sometimes. It is the production of East Asia’s evergreen trees.
It is the native spice of Burma. But its good amount is grown in China, Central America, East Indies, and West Indies. Moreover, Cassia has a lot of varieties. Some of its major types are Chinese Cassia, Indian Cassia, Indonesian Cassia, Oliver’s Bark, and more. All of these types have different countries of origin. And they are differentiated based on their origin. Moreover, different varieties also come with slightly different traits and qualities. And all of its types are used as each other’s substitute.
What does Cassia Look Like?
Cassia has a wood-like structure. It has reddish-brown and greyish-brown colors. The outer layer of this spice is greyish and rough. While the inner circle is reddish and has a softer texture. Cassia also comes in rolls of wood like cinnamon. However, cinnamon is rolled on one side while it is rolled on both sides. Therefore, the sides roll towards the center. This helps people to differentiate both. Additionally, the buds of this spice also resemble cloves. The buds are dry fruit that has a length of around 14mm with half-width.
Where does Cassia Come From?
Cassia comes from the tree called Cinnamomum Cassia which is also widely known as Cinnamomum Aromaticum. This tree is evergreen. Its tree grows around 10m to 15m in height. This tree has greyish bark. It is found in various parts of the world. It is produced in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, the West and East Indies, Central America, and More.
How is Cassia Made?
Once the tree grows and reaches to harvesting stage, you can begin the process of getting Cassia. Firstly, start peeling the Cassia bark from the branches and stems. When you peel all, put the barks aside. Place them somewhere under the sun and let them completely dry. Choose the suitable barks because the tree also contains some scrap barks, which are not good to use. When the barks dry, they curl into quills. You will notice that the color starts changing. Now, the whole form of Cassia is ready for use. However, if you want to use it in powder form like turmeric, you should use a grinder. When you get the ground form, you can use any jar or container to put it in.
What Does Cassia Taste Like?
Cassia has a very warm, pungent, and sweet taste. Its sweet-spicy flavor resembles cinnamon to a great extent. Besides, it also has a little aroma that enhances the scent of your dishes. Some Cassia may have a little different taste than the others. That’s because of their type. Like Chinese, Cassia is less aromatic than those of Indonesia and Vietnam.
How is Cassia Used in Cooking?
Cassia is normally used for cooking spicy and strong dishes. You can add some of its pieces of rolls based on the quantity of your food and its recipe. However, it is better to add it while cooking as it will give it enough time to release flavor and aroma. In some cultures, it is fried in the oil before adding to the main dish.
What Types of Cuisines Use Cassia?
Cassia is a savory food spice. Therefore, it is better to use it in savory foods than in sweet items. This spice is normally used in cuisines like curries, meats, pickles, and other spicy foods. Moreover, specific types of Cassia, like yellow Cassia flowers, are used in sweet dishes due to their cinnamon-like taste.
What is a Cassia Substitute?
The best substitutes for Cassia are Cinnamon and allspice. So, if you don’t find cassia, use these instead. They will make a good replacement.
Where to Buy Cassia?
Since Cassia and Cinnamon resemble, make sure to be cautious while buying it. It will save you from getting confused between both and purchasing the wrong one. That’s why we have listed some high-quality Cassia for you. These products are a mix of both spices. So, next time when you go to the grocery, you know what product to pick. These products are listed below.