What is general background information about the spice cinnamon, including its name and the part of the plant it comes from?
Cinnamon comes from a small evergreen from Sri Lanka and its scientific name is Cinnamomum zeylanicum. The spice is derived from the inner bark of the tree. It is mentioned in biblical stories so it has a quite ancient history. It was not commonly used, however, royalty would use it on funeral pyres, it was used to perfume bedding and clothing. Cinnamon was transported by raft from Indonesia from the Moluccas to East Africa and then on to the Roman markets. Ninety percent of this spice is from Sri Lanka, the rest is from China, India and Vietnam. Today, it is used in the production of chocolate, it is used as a cooking spice. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it can be used as a food perservative. It has antioxidant properties and can be used as a health supplement. It can be used as a breath freshener, to fight the common cold and as a treatment for diarrhea. There are many uses for cinammon worldwide, that vary by culture.