The gentle coastal hills of southern Sri Lankan
are especially suited to the growth of cinnamon.
A variety of laurel, Cinnamonum
Zeylanicum, “true cinnamon”
is more or less exclusively native to Sri Lanka.
It is not to be confused with the cheaper and
inferior “cassia” which is sometimes
sold as cinnamon in North America.
Cinnamon was valued as a spice in classical times; and, later on, achieved a reputation for rarity and expense. Eulogized in poetry from the Song of Solomon to Michael Ondaatje, more than any spice it has become subject of romance. Even now the aroma of cinnamon being peeled to create the "quills" induces a feeling of well-being tinged with sensuality.
The Portuguese were led to this part of world in search of cinnamon, cutting out the Arab middlemen. In those days it was gathered from wild trees, but, as the Dutch succeeded them, the first plantations were attempted, which then flourished.
Cinnamon remains a major
export of Sri Lanka, and its use in both cooking
and medicine are being increasingly appreciated.
Still peeled in the time-honoured way by our own
peelers, it retains a sense of enigma and romance.
are determined to show how first class production
and a mark of origin can create superiority, for,
like wine, the best cinnamon is dependent on "terroir",
and on sound decision-making.
Our staff provide an in-depth
tour of the plantation and demonstrations of cinnamon
A holiday at Mirissa Hills
will give you a special insight into this little
known crop – for so long known as “the
Queen of Spices”.