Cinnamon is a very popular spice. It is obtained from the inner bark of a few trees of Lauraceae family, genus Cinnamomum. The best known and most used ones are Cinnamomum Verum and Cinnamomum Cassia.
The trees grow up to 10–15 m tall. They have 7–18 cm long leaves, hard and elongated. Flowers have a typical white-greenish color. The fruit is a drupe with a single seed inside.
Cinnamon has been known since the remote antiquity. It is specifically mentioned in the Bible. And we know ancient Egyptians used to use it to embalm bodies. It was extremely highly prized, to such an extent that it was regarded as a precious gift, to give to monarchs and gods.
In cooking, you can use the whole stick of Cinnamon bark, or else the powdered one. Cinnamon is amongst the most common ingredients to make desserts, like apple pie and cinnamon rolls, but also to flavor candies, coffee, hot cocoa and liqueurs. In Eastern gastronomic traditions, it is often used to flavor savory dishes as well, like in Tajine of chicken with honey and dried fruit.
Fun fact: even though there is no evidence that it is useful to treat any medical condition, Cinnamon is also used in herbal medicine, to treat hypertension and menstrual pains.