Do you know where cinnamon comes from? It's a spice we use all the time, but do you know where it grows and how it comes to be in our cinnamon buns? Cinnamon is one of those sweet spices that is so versatile -- in and outside the kitchen -- that we might even take it for granted sometimes.
It goes well in savory dishes like soups and tagines, and can do wonders on meat and chicken. It also shines in desserts, like churros and cobblers, and is your best friend at breakfast. You can also use it in your beauty routine. It can help out around the house and it may even have some healing properties. Cinnamon makes us think of Christmas and cozying up in front of the fire, but it also makes us think of apple pie in the fall and cinnamon sugar doughnuts at the summer farmers market.
As much as we use cinnamon, it's not wholly apparently where we get it from. Its origin may surprise you, but if you give that cinnamon stick a second look, it will probably start to make a whole lot of sense.
Dinodia Photos via Getty Images
Specifically, it comes from the inner layer of bark derived from dozens of varieties of evergreen trees that belong to the genus Cinnamomum.
Davor Lovincic via Getty Images
The cinnamon is then dried
s-cphoto via Getty Images
are then cut into sticks or crushed into a spice powder.
Dave King via Getty Images
People incorrectly conclude
that Ceylon cinnamon is "real cinnamon" because of its scientific name, Cinnamomum verum
. Cassia, scientifically known as cinnamomum cassia
, is just as real.
Greg Elms via Getty Images
By "most" we mean up to 80-90 percent
. Cassia cinnamon mainly comes from
Indonesia, which is responsible for about two thirds
of the crop. The rest comes from China, Vietnam and Burma.
It can be used as
a lip plumper, a face mask, a breath freshener and a dry skin scrub.
Maria Bedacht via Getty Images
It can be used as
an air freshener and an ant and moth repellant.
Burwell and Burwell Photography via Getty Images
It could benefit diabetes patients
. While studies on cinnamon's health benefits -- such as whether it might reduce inflammation or have antioxidant effects -- have been mixed
, it has been used as both a spice and medicine for thousands of years.
James And James via Getty Images
And remember, it all came from a tree.
Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.