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.
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.
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.