How Do We Get Cinnamon?
The spicy cinnamon used in cooking and in flavoring candies is made from the inner bark of branches of the cinnamon tree. The familiar cinnamon flavor comes from aromatic oil found in the bark. This small tropical tree grows in such warm lands as Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
To harvest the cinnamon, the lower branches are cut down and the outer bark is scraped away. The thin inner bark is then peeled off in long strips and dried in the sun. As the bark dries, it curls into tubes. Sometimes the spice is sold that way, but it is often ground into powder.
There are two types of cinnamon grown and harvested today: Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon,” and cassia, usually sold and marketed as cinnamon in the United States. The two spices taste and smell very similar to one another, but they are grown and harvested in two very different places.