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What is Cassia?

The dried bark of the cassia tree (Cinnamomum cassia) is one of the ingredients of five spice powder. Cassia is related to and similar to the better known cinnamon, a native of Sri Lanka. An alternative name for cassia, Bastard Cinnamon provides a clue that, outside of China at least, it is considered inferior to cinnamon, the flavour being more pungent, not as sweet and delicate, and slightly bitter. What is sold as cinnamon is often actually cassia. Cassia bark is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

















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