It would not be an exaggeration to say that the cinnamon from Yen Bai province is coveted. Known as the “Champagne of cinnamon,” it has a high amount of essential oils, giving it a more intense flavor.
Where’s Yen Bai?
The Yen Bai province lies in the remote mountains near the Vietnamese border with China. So it’s not surprising that their cinnamon was basically unknown to most Americans until recently when the post-Vietnam War embargo was lifted in 1994. The war hurt Vietnam’s cinnamon trade in other ways: unexploded bombs lie on the same land where cinnamon forests like to grow.
The good news is that the situation is improving. PeaceTrees Vietnam is a Seattle-based humanitarian organization working in central Vietnam to help clear the farmlands. We have been a partner of and donor to PeaceTrees since 2012.