The leaf of the true cinnamon tree, the Ceylon cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum Verum or Cinnamomum Zeylanicum), is much used in the Indian and Caribbean cuisine.
The leaf looks like bay leaves, not surprising knowing that the cinnamon tree is of the same family as the bay tree. The tree can measure up to 13 m in height.
The whole tree is used: once the bark is removed, the bare branches are used to warm up.
The flowers, which smell very bad, give birth to the delicious cinnamon berries. The camphor flavoured roots are sometimes used to make remedies.
The flavor of the leaf is quite different from the rest of the tree.
On the nose, the leaf has an herbaceous, green and lively flavor, close to Mulukhiyah and spinach.
In the mouth, it is an explosion of flavors: the attack is hot and approaches the clove but evolves very quickly on a flavor close to the pepper of Jamaica or the four spices, in which one can distinguish the cinnamon. In the end, it leaves a slight spiciness very pleasant. This spiciness comes from the fact that cinnamon is a distant cousin of pepper nigrum peppers.
In India, they are used whole to flavor curries, masala, broths, rice dishes, byriani, and more.
In the Caribbean, they flavor soups, pilafs (associated with cardamom seeds and black pepper), coconut milk sauce, creams, etc.