One of the most intensely flavored cinnamons to be found, Royal Cinnamon has been harvested in the mountains around the ancient Vietnamese capital city of Hue for millennia. The harvesting technique is unique. Instead of chopping down the tree to harvest the bark, a deep cut is made around the base of the tree and the bark is allowed to dry on the tree for a couple of weeks. That concentrates essential oils rather than letting them evaporate in the more traditional method of bark drying in the hot sun. The bark comes off the tree mostly dry and very intensely spicy and sweet, with a beautiful fragrance that you still smell in every bottle.
The same species as Saigon Cinnamon (cinnamomum loureiroi), Royal Cinnamon is an heirloom variety not widely harvested or exported and exemplifies the intense flavor and high quality for which Vietnamese cinnamon is prized. You can use them interchangeably in pastries and baked goods, sprinkled raw over oatmeal, or cooked into rich, savory meats or tomato-based dishes.
Quang Nam Mountains, Vietnam
100% royal cinnamon, ground (Cinnamomum loureiroi)