It is the fruit of cinnamon (cinnamomum verum), the tree whose bark gives us the spice we all know: cinnamon from Ceylon.
We do not just use the bark of the tree, but also the leaves of the cinnamon and berries.
They have the same taste as Ceylon cinnamon, (a bit more distinct) with a very light spiciness.
This spiciness comes from the fact that cinnamon is a distant cousin of pepper piper negrum. On the nose, there are notes of roasted coffee and scents of cocoa. It also has a touch of caraway.
In the mouth, the fruit has a hot and biting attack, which evolves on sweet flavors, marked by a touch of bitterness.
The cinnamon berries are used exactly like the bark of the cinnamon, except that it is more practical because smaller and its shape makes it go very well in a pepper mill. Added to your pepper mill, it will add its sweet flavor and its enchanting pepper perfume, a delicious combination.
It is a wonderful addition to Penja pepper and Kampot pepper.
It is used in the oriental cuisine, Arab and Maghreb cuisine where cinnamon is often used in the salty: game, white meat, lamb, vegetables, tagines, sausages and foie gras, couscous, sauces (whole berries just infused), and much more
In some regions of China it replaces the cassia bark (Cinnamomum Cassia) in the well know “five spice” blend.
The cinnamon trees of Ceylon have now spread out of the island of Sri Lanka, especially in Madagascar, but also throughout the south-east Asia.