For its health benefits are immense, of all the spices, Cinnamon hogs the limelight. Cinnamon aka Cinnamon Verum available in the market mostly come from Kerala and Sri Lanka. But before you make a purchase, it would be ideal to know which of them has better quality.
Cinnamon is grown commercially In Sri Lanka. But in Kerala, across the western ghats, it is naturally grown in several agricultural lands surviving all seasonal changes. Commercial farming of cinnamon is done in Sri Lanka only in a way profitable to them. Whereas in Kerala, there will be a few cinnamon trees which more than the farmers, the nature will take care of. The only difference is that, Sri Lankans commercially grow it and cut it in a mechanised way, but in Kerala, farmers cut it with their country knives, so shape is not even.
Asia’s first cinnamon plantation was originally planted by the East India Company at Anjarakkandy in Kannur, Kerala in 1767. But later on realising that the regional interest was on other spices, to give it a market, it was shifted to neighbouring Sri Lanka where it thrived. And today Sri Lankan Cinnamon has gained global reputation as it got branded by Britishers just like they did to Malabar Black Pepper, Tellichery Black Pepper, Alleppey Cardamom or Alleppey Finger Turmeric. But the reality is that, compared to Ceylone Cinnamon, Kerala Cinnamon remains the best in quality. Consequently, main importers in US and EU are specifically asking for Kerala cinnamon powder.
The world has realised the merits of Kerala Cinnamon and now it’s our turn to promote our desi cinnamon and lessen dependence on imported cinnamon.
NB: Images of cinnamon processing by our farmers' group in Kannur, Kerala