Cinnamon bark is used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavouring material.
The trees are grown for 2 years before being coppiced. Up to 10 new stems will grow from the remaining trunk.
It is used in the preparation of chocolate, especially in Mexico. Cinnamon is often used in savoury dishes of chicken and lamb. In the United States and Europe, cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavour cereals, bread-based dishes such as toast, and fruits, especially apples; a cinnamon and sugar mixture (cinnamon sugar) is sold separately for such purposes.
It is also used in Portuguese and Turkish cuisine for both sweet and savoury dishes. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling, and in Christmas drinks such as eggnog. Cinnamon powder has long been an important spice in enhancing the flavour of Persian cuisine, used in a variety of thick soups, drinks and sweets.
True cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) originates in Sri Lanka and is often called Ceylon cinnamon.
The ‘lesser’ varieties are called Cassa and are grown mainly in China, Indonesia and Vietnam. They are strong in flavour and used mostly for baking.