is a spice obtained from the inner bark of a small
evergreen tree native to Sri Lanka. Cinnamon is
principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavoring
material, being largely used in the preparation of some
kinds of chocolate and liqueurs.
The best cinnamon is from
Sri Lanka, but the tree is also grown at Tellicherry, in
Java, the West Indies, Brazil, and Egypt. Sri Lanka
cinnamon of fine quality is a very thin smooth bark, with
a light-yellowish brown color, a highly fragrant odor, and
a peculiarly sweet, warm and pleasing aromatic taste.
Its flavor is due to an
aromatic oil which it contains to the extent of from 0.5
to 1%. This essential oil, as an article of commerce, is
prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in
sea-water, and then quickly distilling the whole. It is of
a golden-yellow color, with the peculiar odor of cinnamon
and a very hot aromatic taste.
Being a much more costly
spice than cassia, that comparatively harsh-flavored
substance is frequently substituted for or added to it.