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How Do I Choose the Best Saigon Cinnamon?

Choosing the best Saigon cinnamon involves seeking out a rich, sweet aroma and a high oil content, which indicates superior flavor and potency. Look for organic certification to ensure purity and sustainability. Remember, the best Saigon cinnamon transforms dishes with its warmth and depth. Curious about the culinary secrets it holds? Let's explore how this spice can elevate your cooking.
A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn

To choose the best Saigon cinnamon, shoppers should understand the meaning behind this label, and figure out how to spot the most authentic kinds of Vietnamese cinnamon on local markets. Saigon cinnamon is a term for a type of cinnamon indigenous to Vietnam that has many consumer uses. This premium variety of cinnamon can be used in many different recipes, and also in fragrances. It is traditionally used in the making of classic Vietnamese soups called pho.

One tip for choosing the most authentic Saigon cinnamon is to buy it in its original form. This cinnamon can be sold in long sticks, which are essentially strips of dried bark, often curled into thin cylinders. Chipped or powdered cinnamon is more difficult to inspect in order to determine its authenticity.

Saigon cinnamon is a common ingredient in pho.
Saigon cinnamon is a common ingredient in pho.

Some experts also advise buyers that authentic cinnamon of the Saigon variety has a high oil content. Sometimes the texture of the cinnamon will reveal whether it is an authentic Vietnamese variety. A few spice mavens have suggested that a real stick of this authentic cinnamon will actually catch fire because of the oils that it absorbs, where a stick of regular cinnamon generally will not. This is not always the best way of choosing cinnamon, but it can be a helpful guide in some cases.

Cinnamon sticks.
Cinnamon sticks.

Cooks who are experienced with spices can also taste the difference between authentic and inferior cinnamon products. Where regular cinnamon does not have a lot of sweetness, those experienced in selecting varieties of this spice point out that Saigon cinnamon has a distinctly sweet flavor. With more practice, a buyer should be able to eventually identify Saigon cinnamon by taste.

For those who don’t know how to distinguish these products from others, another way to choose the best Saigon cinnamon products is to use a trusted retailer. Some sellers can provide seals or labels indicating authentic Saigon cinnamon varieties. Since this product is typically imported, authentic products will often come with information about where the cinnamon was grown, or how it was distributed. Although some merchants tend to blend Saigon cinnamon with less valuable varieties, more research, and a demand for detailed product information, will often help individuals buy the most authentic kinds of cinnamon for culinary or other uses.

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Discussion Comments


@stoneMason-- You could also check where the cinnamon is imported from. It should be imported from Vietnam only.

Most people prefer Saigon cinnamon because of the sweet flavor. But I'v read that Saigon cinnamon may be dangerous for health if consumed too much and on a regular basis. Apparently, Saigon cinnamon has high levels of coumarin, a substance that some claim can lead to liver damage. I doubt that anyone will consume enough Saigon cinnamon for that to happen though.


@stoneMason-- Actually, Saigon and Chinese cinnamon are also considered types of Cassia cinnamon because the plants are very similar to one another. True cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon is slightly distinct from these other types and it has a lighter color -- light brown or tan. I agree with you that it can be difficult to tell apart various Cassia cinnamon types as they have a dark brown color. You will also notice that the Cassia cinnamon rolls do not have many layers.

The best way to tell apart Saigon from others is probably by tasting a sample. Saigon has both a spicy and sweet flavor. Chinese cinnamon on the other hand is bitter and Korintje is spicy but not sweet.


I can't tell apart Saigon, Cassia and Korintje cinnamon from one another. The bark of all three types of cinnamon are a dark reddish brown. I'm not sure how others tell them apart. I guess I need more experience.

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    • Saigon cinnamon is a common ingredient in pho.
      By: uckyo
      Saigon cinnamon is a common ingredient in pho.
    • Cinnamon sticks.
      By: Natika
      Cinnamon sticks.