Frontier Co-op Cinnamon: Delicious. Sustainable. Remarkable.
At Frontier Co-op, we believe that a spice can taste good AND do good for the people who grow it. As a result of our careful sourcing practices and strong relationships with grower communities, we have access to remarkable and uncommon varieties of cinnamon that honor the unique environments where they’re grown.
That means every bottle or bulk bag of cinnamon that bears our name is packed with exceptional, reliable flavor — no matter which variety you choose.
Wait…variety? I thought cinnamon was cinnamon.
Let’s back up a little. There’s more than one type of cinnamon, and each one carries its own charm that makes it uniquely suited for certain recipes. For instance, Ceylon cinnamon has a mild, delicate flavor that lends itself particularly well to sweet desserts.
There’s also cassia — a close relative of Ceylon cinnamon with a similar but distinct flavor profile. Chances are, if you’re buying cinnamon at the store, you’re actually buying a type of cassia. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not getting cinnamon or that you’re getting a second-place imitation. Both are members of the Cinnamomum genus, and there’s a time and place for high-quality cassia cinnamon in every kitchen.
Cassia vs. “True Cinnamon”
While the names cinnamon and cassia are often used interchangeably — and the plants are related — there are botanical and practical differences.
Cassia is reddish-brown and pungently sweet. This variety is grown primarily in China, the Indonesian islands and Vietnam, and is from a tree. (Frontier Co-op sources our cassia exclusively from Indonesia and Vietnam — but more on that later.)
On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon (or “true cinnamon”) is buff-colored and mild, with a more complex flavor, touting citrus and woody undertones. This type of cinnamon is generally sourced from Sri Lanka, and the plant is more akin to a bush.
Cinnamon 101: Choosing the Right Type
Frontier Co-op is proud to offer three distinct varieties of cinnamon available in bulk, bottles, and as sticks: Ceylon Cinnamon, Korintje (Indonesian) Cinnamon and Vietnamese Cinnamon, as well as a range of spice blends that feature this warm, distinctive spice.
Here’s what makes each variety unique:
Frontier Co-op Ceylon Cinnamon
Its botanical name, Cinnamomum verum — sometimes called “true cinnamon” — says it all. Ceylon cinnamon (pronounced like “c-lon”) offers the classic taste of cinnamon that’s not too hot, not too sweet, but packed with complex, nuanced flavor. This exceptional variety is extremely versatile and can be used in savory dishes as well as desserts like cinnamon rolls.
Frontier Co-op sources our Ceylon cinnamon directly from a co-op in Sri Lanka, its native home. Growing and harvesting this spice is a labor-intensive process — and a skill passed down from one generation of farmers to the next.
By offering organic and Fair Trade Certified™ Ceylon cinnamon, Frontier Co-op is able to help preserve the time-honored traditions that make this variety so remarkable — all while ensuring that the people and places who make it possible are protected and respected.
(There's much more on our cinnamons below the product carousel.)
Vietnamese cinnamon is a cassia cinnamon with a distinctly sweet taste and high volatile oil content. Gourmet cooks often rate it as the highest quality cinnamon in the world for its exceptional potency that shines through in any dish.
Frontier Co-op Vietnamese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum) is different from the many brands that source Cinnamomum loureiroi. Our Vietnamese cinnamon is harvested in the mountainous regions of North Vietnam. Its pungent aroma and strong, vibrant flavor are the result of its high oil content — we take care to source Vietnamese cinnamon that has been cut from the base of the tree, where the highest concentration of oil is found.
Frontier Co-op also takes care to give back to the grower communities we partner with. As a part of our Well Earth program, we’ve reduced the barriers to going to school in this remote region of Vietnam by providing tuition, books, school supplies and food to hundreds of children.
Vietnamese Cinnamon has rebounded in popularity in the U.S. following a long absence — although it can still be tricky to find in your typical grocery store. Frontier Co-op takes pride in making this special, gourmet cooking favorite available to home cooks everywhere.
A common staple of American kitchens, Cinnamomum burmannii is a type of cassia cinnamon also called Indonesian or Korintje cinnamon (pronounced core-in-gee).
Frontier Co-op Korintje Cinnamon — considered the most flavorful in the world — comes from Sumatra, where the altitude contributes to the spice's intense, reddish-brown color and exceptional flavor. Since it offers a good balance of sweet and spicy flavors, this all-purpose cinnamon is suited for a variety of dishes, from baked goods to savory stews.
Culinary Blends with Cinnamon
Cinnamon has a remarkable ability to compliment other spices, making it a popular addition to curry powders, baking blends, flavored teas, mulling spices — and even pickling brines. Try one of our favorite blends featuring the warm, distinct taste of cinnamon:
- Frontier Co-op Apple Pie Spice: A blend of bold, warm spices rounded out with the bright taste of lemon peel to compliment fruit crisps, pies, cobblers and more.
Frontier Co-op Organic Turkey Brine: The perfect blend of salt, orange peel and spices like cinnamon, ginger and allspice to create a juicy, flavorful turkey.
Frontier Co-op Pumpkin Pie Spice: It’s not officially fall until you’ve had your first drink or dessert made with this versatile blend that mixes cinnamon with ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
Frontier Co-op Indian Curry Seasoning: A blend of turmeric, citrus, cinnamon and more for an authentic Indian curry with zest and bite.
Frontier Co-op Five Spice Powder: A combination of five spices — including cinnamon — to bring out the full spectrum of flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, earthy and HOT!
Cooking with Cinnamon
If you only have one spice on hand, let it be cinnamon! There’s so much you can do with this spice on its own — from making a comforting batch of gooey cinnamon rolls to adding dimensional flavor to cut fruit and your favorite smoothies.
Of course, cinnamon is a team player, too. It pairs particularly well with other warm spices like cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Try a blend of your favorite spices with cinnamon in cakes, cookies and sweet breads, pies and fruit crisps, puddings, ice cream and hot drinks like cider, coffee, tea and cocoa.
While you’re probably most familiar with cinnamon in sweet fare, don’t overlook what it can do for savory dishes. Try it in soups, sauces, chutneys, curries, catsup, pickles, vinegars, meat, fish and poultry glazes and marinades, and grains. The list goes on and on!
We’ve rounded up a couple of our cinnamon-lover recipes to help you broaden your cooking experience and use this spice like a pro: