According to Wikipedia, Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savory foods. Cinnamon trees are native to South East Asia. Typically harvested during the rainy season when pliable, and then dried into curls sold as sticks, (quills), or ground into a powder.
Tip: Cinnamon not only goes well with fruits and chocolate, but it also goes very well with poultry and lamb when injected, marinaded, or used in a brine.
A question that is often asked is whether to use cinnamon in stick or in ground form. I personally have found that ground form yields more cinnamon flavor, but you have to be careful to dissolve it as best as possible, as it can leave a residue, or can even clump.
Tip: One cinnamon stick yields 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon, using only the thin inner bark, has a finer, less dense, and more crumbly texture, and is considered to be less strong than cassia. Cassia has a much stronger (somewhat harsher) flavor than Ceylon cinnamon, is generally a medium to light reddish brown, hard and woody in texture, and thicker, as all of the layers of bark are used.
The best cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon = canela = Sri Lanka cinnamon = true cinnamon.
cassia cinnamon = cassia = Chinese cinnamon = Chinese cassia = false cinnamon.
Most of the cinnamon that’s sold in America is cassia, which is cheaper and more bitter than the choice Ceylon cinnamon, and isn’t as well regarded.