Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomumthat is used in both sweet and savoury foods. While Cinnamomum verum is sometimes considered to be "true cinnamon", most cinnamon in international commerce is derived from related species, which are also referred to as "cassia" to distinguish them from "true cinnamon".
Cinnamon is the name for perhaps a dozen species of trees and the commercial spice products that some of them produce. All are members of the genus Cinnamomum in the family Lauraceae. Only a few of them are grown commercially for spice.
Cassia is the strong spicy flavour associated with cinnamon rolls and other such baked goods, as it handles baking conditions well. Chinese cinnamon is generally a medium to light reddish brown, hard and woody in texture, and thicker (2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) thick), as all of the layers of bark are used. Ceylon cinnamon, using only the thin inner bark, has a lighter brown colour, a finer, less dense and more crumbly texture, and is considered to be subtler and more aromatic in flavour than cassia, losing much of its flavour during cooking.