|Farmer transporting cinnamon near Tanjung Kasri|
|Chart from Mongabay.|
|Cinnamomum aromaticum drawing from|
Steps in Cinnamon Production
After the outermost layer of the tree is removed a special tool is used to remove the bark. In the picture to the right you can see a husband-wife team of farmers shaving bark near Tanjung Kasri in Serampas, where kayu manis is one of the main crops because it doesn't spoil on the long road to the market. Like pretty much all commodities, the price of kulit manis fluctuates widely, but currently it fetches around 3,000 rupiah (approximately US$.35) per kilogram. The next step is to dry the kulit manis. This takes about 2-4 days, depending on the weather. As it dries it curls up on itself.
So that's the story on cinnamon. Next time you're in the market you can think about the spice's long history and the long journey it makes to your kitchen cabinet.
References and Further Reading
Some of the background for this post comes from Sylvia Werner's excellent PhD dissertation which studied the agroforestry of the Kerinci Valley.
Werner, Sylvia. 2001. Environmental Knowledge and Resource Management: Sumatra's Kerinci-Seblat National Park. PhD dissertation, University of Berlin.