C. zeylanicum Blume
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, synonym C. zeylanicum) is a small evergreen tree belonging to the family Lauraceae, native to Sri Lanka, or the spice obtained from the tree's bark. It is often confused with other similar species and the similar spices derived from them, such as Cassia and Cinnamomum burmannii, which are often called cinnamon too. Cinnamon lowers the rate of cellular respiration in yeast.//
The name cinnamon comes from Greek kinnÃ¡mÅmon, itself ultimately from Phoenician. The botanical name for the spiceâ€”Cinnamomum zeylanicumâ€”is derived from Sri Lanka's former name, Ceylon.
In many other, particularly European, languages it has a name akin to French cannelle, diminutive of canne (reed, cane) from its tube-like shape.
In Marathi, it is known as ``DalChini (à¤¦à¤¾à¤²à¤šà¤¿à¤¨à¥€)``. In Kannada it is called ``Chekke``. In Bengali, it is called ``Darchini`` (à¦¦à¦¾à¦°à§à¦šà¦¿à¦¨à¦¿). In Telugu, it is called Dalchina Chakka, Chakka meaning bark or wood. In Sanskrit cinnamon is known as tvak or dÄrusitÄ.In Urdu, Hindi, and Hindustani cinnamon is called dalchini (à¤¦à¤¾à¤²à¤šà¥€à¤¨à¥€ Ø¯Ø§Ø±Ú†ÛŒÙ†ÛŒ), in Assamese it is called alseni, and in Gujarati taj. In Persian, it is called darchin (Ø¯Ø§Ø±Ú†ÛŒÙ†). In Turkish, it is called ``TarÃ§Ä±n`` .
In Indonesia, where it is cultivated in Java and Sumatra, it is called kayu manis and sometimes cassia vera, the ``real`` cassia. In Sri Lanka, in the original Sinhala, cinnamon is known as kurundu, recorded in English in the 17th century as Korunda. In Malayalam, karugapatta and in Tamil pattai (à®ªà®Ÿà¯à¯ˆà®Ÿ) or lavangampattai (à®‡à®²à®µà®™à¯à®•à®ªà®Ÿà¯à¯ˆà®Ÿ) or karuvappattai (à®•à®°à¯à®µà®¾à®ªà¯à®ªà®Ÿà¯à¯ˆà®Ÿ). In Arabic it is called qerfa (Ù‚Ø±ÙØ©).
Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity; the first mention of a particular spice in the Old Testament is of cinnamon where Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon (Hebrew ×§Ö´× Ö¸Ö¼×ž×•Ö¹×Ÿ, qinnÄmÃ´n) and cassia in the holy anointing oil; in Proverbs, where the lover's bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloe and cinnamon; and in Song of Solomon, a song describing the beauty of his beloved, cinnamon scents her garments like the smell of Lebanon. It was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god: a fine inscription records the gift of cinnamon and cassia to the temple of Apollo at Miletus. Though its source was kept mysterious in the Mediterranean world for centuries by the middlemen who handled the spice trade, to protect their monopoly as suppliers, cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, but those who report that it had come from China confuse it with cassia. It is also alluded to by Herodotus and other classical writers. It was too expensive to be commonly used on funeral pyres in Rome, but the Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year's worth of the city's supply at the funeral for his wife Poppaea Sabina in AD 65.
Before the foundation of Cairo, Alexandria was the Mediterranean shipping port of cinnamon. Europeans who knew the Latin writers who were quoting Herodotus knew that cinnamon came up the Red Sea to the trading ports of Egypt, but whether from Ethiopia or not was less than clear. When the sieur de Joinville accompanied his king to Egypt on Crusade in 1248, he reported what he had been toldâ€”and believedâ€”that cinnamon was fished up in nets at the source of the Nile out at the edge of the world. Through the Middle Ages, the source of cinnamon was a mystery to the Western world. Marco Polo avoided precision on this score. In Herodotus and other authors, Arabia was the source of cinnamon: giant Cinnamon birds collected the cinnamon sticks from an unknown land where the cinnamon trees grew and used them to construct their nests; the Arabs employed a trick to obtain the sticks. This story was current as late as 1310 in Byzantium, although in the first century, Pliny the Elder had written that the traders had made this up in order to charge more. The first mention of the spice growing in Sri Lanka was in