Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

cassia a spice resembling and related but inferior to cinnamon (hence often known as ‘false’ or ‘bastard’ cinnamon), is the product of numerous plants, notably: Chinese cassia, Cinnamomum cassia or C. aromaticum; Indonesian cassia, C. burmannii; and Saigon cassia, C. loureirii. Each has a number of alternative names. Thus Chinese cassia may also be Kwangtun, Yunnan, Honan, or Chinese-junk cassia. Distinguishing between the various kinds is not easy. Rosengarten (1969) remarks that in the period when imports from China to the USA were banned, US chemists had to devise a system of testing cassia bark by gas chromatography in order to identify and exclude any of the Chinese kind.