Cinnamon History

918 Words4 Pages
Ever since the humanity started using spices to enhance the flavour of their favourite delicacies, cinnamon has been in the mix, with earliest references dating back to pre-biblical writings. Frequent references to cinnamon have been common ever since and we live in an age where we can’t imagine a world where our breakfast rolls, cookies, puddings and chutneys aren’t made all the more delicious by a touch of cinnamon. Be it a regular family affair or a very special occasion, cinnamon reigns supreme place. The appellations cinnamon having around the globe, are derived mostly due to its unique features. After a special craftsman the delicate bark of the cinnamon plant is dried to form the spice in quills form. Due to the sweet taste of the bark…show more content…
Although there are no proper Egyptian evidence, ancient stories confirm the availability of cinnamon in 2000BC. Cinnamon was valued higher than gold and only used by royals. Cinnamon was used as a perfuming agent in embalming process and as a spice in cooking. The value given by Egyptians to cinnamon is well demonstrated by the story that emperor Nero using year’s stock of cinnamon to burn in the funeral of his second wife Pyre as atonement for his share on her death. Soon after Egyptians, Romans and Greeks fell under the charm of cinnamon. In new markets also cinnamon became one of the top expensive spices. Arabs were the only supplier of cinnamon to the European market. They were maintaining a trade monopoly over spices trade. Arabians were spreading a set of magical stories to cover the true source of cinnamon in order to secure their trade monopoly. They were transporting cinnamon through Indian land mass which was labour intensive and time-consuming. The difficulty of getting to markets and the scarcity of the resource ended up giving cinnamon a worshiping status in the ancient…show more content…
Romans broke the spice trade monopoly of Arabs. According to the records, it is not clear whether Romans were able to find the real sources of cinnamon. From this point of the story, it is hard to say the type of cinnamon this historical evidence is referred, whether it is Ceylon or Cassia cinnamon. First evidence on Ceylon cinnamon came into light in the thirteenth century. Europeans who were experiencing the trade monopoly of Arabians, launched expeditions in search for the magical sources of cinnamon. After many failed attempts, miraculously in 1518 Portuguese found a small island in the Indian Ocean which was a home for cinnamon. Up to this century, Portuguese were buying spices through Arabs. Removing the middleman from the equation, Portuguese started to direct trade spices from Ceylon, Malabar Indian Coast, and Fareast coast. After Arabs, Portuguese started the next trade monopoly over spices. Understanding the potential of the Ceylon cinnamon trade Portuguese became greedy for more profits and forced Sinhala kings to produce 11000kg of cinnamon bark annually. They brought strict regulations on cinnamon cultivators and peelers. The penalty for poor management and destruction of cinnamon cultivation was
Open Document