Real World Gardener Cassia vs Cinnamon part 2 in Spice It Up

December 6th, 2019


Cassia vs Cinnamon part 2

Last week in part 1 of this segment about cinnamon and cassia, Ian the herb and spice expert talked mainly about where and how, each of these spices are produced.

  • One thing to note: in America, Cassia Cinnamon is just called cinnamon and Sri Lankan cinnamon is called Mexican cinnamon.  

Keep this in mind when reading recipes on the internet or in American cookbooks.

Also, how to tell them apart just by looking at the cinnamon sticks, or feeling and tasting the power.

This time, we’re delving a bit deeper and giving out some recipe ideas also.

I'm talking with was Ian Hemphill from

Let’s find out.


PLAY: Cinnamon and Cassia part 2_ 27th November 2019

There were some tricks of the spice trade to trap unwary customers.

Cassia is from a different tree mianly grown in China, Japan and Vietnam. 


Cassia on the left: Cinnamon on the  right

All of the bark is taken from the tree to make cassia quills. These look deceptively like the more expensive cinnamon quills but here's the difference.

  • Cinnamon quills have many concentric layers
  • Cassia quills only have one concentric layer.

If you want to make Chai tea, think twice before using cassia cinnamon.

This type of cinnamon is too strong, but the true cinnamon, or what I regard as true cinnamon from Sri Lanka, is milder and sweet.

  • Think cheap spice, is it really worth it?

Remember unless that cinnamon powder that you bought feels smooth with any any grittiness, it’s probably been adulterated with cinnamon outer bark. 

Mulled wine jelly




Rind of 1 orange

Rind of 1 lemon

2 cinnamon quills

6 cloves

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

100ml vodka

10 gold-strength gelatine leaves

200ml port

2 cups (500ml) red wine

2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar

300ml thickened cream

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Herbies Mulled Wine spices can be susbtituted for the cinnamon, cloves and vanilla bean.



Place rinds, cinnamon quills, cloves, vanilla pod and seeds and vodka in a bowl.

Stand, covered at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight to infuse.

Once citrus mix is ready, soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer citrus mixture to a pan.

Add the port, wine and sugar, then place over low heat and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves (don't let it boil).

Squeeze gelatine to remove any excess water, then add the leaves to the pan and stir to dissolve.

Cool slightly.

Strain the mulled wine into a jug, then pour into a 1-litre jelly mould.

Cover and chill overnight until set.

When ready to serve, whip cream then fold in ground cinnamon.

Unmould the jelly, then serve with cinnamon cream

If you have any questions for me or for Ian, why not write in to or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


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