Here’s How Cinnamon is Harvested in Indonesia
Watch as the inner bark from cinnamon trees is cut and stripped down to create the spice
The shape of tightly rolled, fragrant scrolls of cinnamon may betray its origin as bark to the observant, but seeing the spice harvested really makes that obvious. In a video from Foodie (via The Kid Should See This) workers on the Indonesian island of Sumatra enter the jungle with a few simple tools. They score and peel sections of bark from trees and scrape off the outer portion, revealing the light reddish brown inner bark.
Larger pieces can be ground into powdered spice and peels from smaller twigs and shoots dry into familiar curled sticks.
Several different species from the genus Cinnamomum supply the world’s cinnamon. Most of so-called "true" cinnamon, or Ceylon cinnamon, comes from Cinnamomum verum trees grown in Sri Lanka. The video shows cassia cinnamon, two thirds of which is grown in Indonesia. The rest comes from China, Vietnam and Burma, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. However, cinnamon and cassia are often used interchangeably, so the "true" moniker is a bit misleading.