Appearance: The thin, multi-layered bark of true cinnamon is most often a redish brown. The bark is curled in on itself as it is dried and cured. The ground Ceylon Cinnamon is light brown, with a slight tint of red.
Typically used: The dried bark is used whole or powdered, and the twigs and leaves are distilled into an essential oil.
Origin: Ceylon cinnamon is cultivated from the inner bark of the evergreen tree, Cinnamomum verum. Native to Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon), Bangladesh, Burma, and the south-eastern coast of India, the spice has been considered a gift fit for gods and has been traded for centuries.
Flavor: Sweet, warming, delicate (in contrast to Cassia Cinnamon, which is warming and somewhat spicy and/or peppery)
Aroma: Sweet and somewhat pungent
Culinary uses: Ceylon cinnamon is used in both sweet and savory dishes. It has been popularized in the United States as the perfect pairing for apples. The sticks are soft enough to be easily ground in a coffee or spice grinder. In Mexico, Ceylon cinnamon is used in chocolate, and in the Middle East the spice can be found in savory meat dishes. Cinnamon is a wonderful addition to bread and pastries, curries, and even on eggs and on ice-cream.