What is cinnamon?
Cassia cinnamon is what most people recognize as cinnamon. Another type of cinnamon is referred to as Ceylon or Sri Lanka cinnamon.Ceylon cinnamon is finer, crumbly and not as strong as cassia. Red Ape Cinnamon® is a type of cassia cinnamon (species Cinnamomum burmannii) sometimes referred to as Indonesian Cinnamon or Korintje Cinnamon. Vietnamese or Saigon cinnamon is a different but closely related species (C. loureiroi).
How is it grown and processed?
The cinnamon we consume is made from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Newly planted trees are allowed to grow for 6 or more years before being cut down just above the ground. This causes shoots to grow out of the remaining stump and roots which can then be harvested every few years. This method is known as coppicing and it is a sustainable method of crop management. The outer bark is scraped off of the harvested branches and discarded. The inner layer is then separated from the woody core which is then sun dried. The bark curls while drying resulting in cinnamon quills. It is then cut to length for cinnamon sticks or ground for cinnamon powder. Older cinnamon trees produce a higher volatile oil content in their bark resulting in a more intense cinnamon flavor.
Why is Red Ape Cinnamon® so red and yummy?
For starters, we only select the highest quality, organic cinnamon with a minimum volatile oil content of 3%. Additionally, our cinnamon is processed slowly and carefully- you know, the old fashioned way. If cinnamon sticks are ground under high and fast pressure, the cinnamon tends to burn resulting in the brown cinnamon you commonly see on the shelf. If you take your time grinding the sticks, the result is a luscious, more flavorful red cinnamon- i.e. Red Ape Cinnamon®.
Why is it called Red Ape Cinnamon®?
Orangutans are the “red apes” and our cinnamon is named after them. Our cinnamon comes from Indonesia which is home to the red ape. Unfortunately, their habitat is threatened by man so we donate 5% of all profits to organizations that protect orangutans and their habitat. So far the recipient has been The Nature Conservancy and the funds have been specifically earmarked for orangutan habitat preservation. In addition, we have adopted Kesi, Dodo, Gober and her twins through Orangutan Outreach.
How should it be stored? What is the shelf life?
Cinnamon should be stored in a sealed container in a cool place and has a shelf life of two years.
Is it kosher, organic, gluten free, etc?
All Red Ape Cinnamon® products are certified organic and gluten free. The organic premium ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks are certified Kosher. All products are non-GMO, but not certified.
Potential Health Benefits:
Studies have been conducted using cassia cinnamon that seem to indicate that it may help to lower blood sugar levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. So far these seem to be small studies with results that are not conclusive. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence of people claiming that cinnamon imparts a health benefit. This information is included on this fact sheet for the sake of awareness. We do not try to sell the cinnamon based on health benefits or make any claims about the health benefits of our cinnamon. Incidentally, some websites will claim that Ceylon cinnamon is the cinnamon to use to get the health benefit but all the most quoted studies used cassia.