Cinnamon quills, those ever-so-delicate fragrant pieces of tan rolled bark, were a poetic symbol in ancient China. True cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) was present in the holy oil of the Hebrews and was associated with luxury in Ancient Rome. For centuries it remained a source of fascination for Arab merchants and Venetian Doges alike. Its origins, long shrouded in mystery, were in fact in Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan grading system divides cinnamon quills into different levels of quality. We choose only the very best, graded C4, C5 and Alba. Cassia, or Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), comes from a different botanical species. It is sweet like Ceylan cinnamon but with a less generous mouthfeel and a more rustic full-flavoured taste.
Cinnamon is available in powder form or quills that can be ground just before use.