By: Jerry Tenenberg
Founder of High Quality Organics
Earliest records find Cinnamon arriving in the Mideast over 4000 years ago. The word is a derivative from Hebrew. It is one of the reasons trade routes from Asia were established on the land and sea.
Most of the spice we call cinnamon is “Cassia” from China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Cassia is the bark harvested from trees, branches and shoots from 5 years to 25 years old. New trees can regenerate from the roots.
Farmers remove the bark in pieces, and dry it in the sun for several days, causing the bark to curl into quills. The quills are sorted for quality and end use; chips, sticks or powders.
Our work with Cassia over the years has been to develop consistency regarding oil content, flavor, aroma and specification that will deliver the best of overall characteristics.
This endeavor takes us to all sources. Here, I travelled north on the island of Sumatra Indonesia, through Padang on the western coast. Life is simple and sometimes, as you can see in this photo, so is transportation!
We all want to do something we enjoy that makes us proud. We desire to be recognized and appreciated for what we do and know that our efforts are meaningful. And, we want to meet our own and our family’s needs.
Yes, HQO’s efforts help with schools, medicine and the overall increase in quality of life. Our focus and appreciation help maintain the consistency and reliability of all the products, like cinnamon (cassia), that we bring to our customers. Personally, my greatest memories are of the love and care we are given by the villagers and knowing to this day, that I have many true friends around the world. Why, these folks here at a manager’s home were so gracious, they even put up with my singing!