Cinnamon is said to be a spice which is obtained from the inner bark of several tree species. It is used in both sweet and savory foods. The term cinnamon also means mid-brown color. Cinnamon is said to be native to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Cinnamon is said to be cultivated by growing the tree for two years.
Chinese cinnamon is said to be a medium to light reddish brown which is hard and has woody texture and is thicker because all the layers of the bark are used. Ceylon cinnamon has only thin inner bark and is lighter brown color, is finer and less dense and has more crumbly texture. It is considered to be subtler and has more aromatic flavor than cassia but looses much of its flavor during cooking. Cassia is said to be a strong, spicy flavor which is associated with the cinnamon rolls and also other baked goods. The levels of blood-thinning agent called coumarin is said to be lower in Celyon Cinnamon than cassia.
The barks of these species can be easily distinguished through both macroscopic and microscopic characters. Because Cinnamon sticks have many thin layers, it can easily be made into powder using a grinder but cassia sticks are said to be much harder. The flavor of cinnamon is said to be due to an essential oil which is aromatic and the essential oil is prepared by roughly pounding the bark and macerating it in sea water and then quickly distilling the whole. The cinnamon powder has a very hot and aromatic taste and this spice is used for preparing chocolate and is also used in many Middle-Eastern dishes.