Cinnamon is a strong spice with a warm taste. It is quite tasty in small quantities, but almost impossible to stomach in larger doses.
Cinnamon has long been a popular spice. It was even mentioned in the Old Testament, although it did not come into common use in Western Europe until the 1700s. It comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum which is a tree native to Sri Lanka. This cinnamon is usually called Ceylon Cinnamon as Ceylon is the old name for Sri Lanka. There are a few other species of cinnamon as well, such as Indonesian cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii), Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia), Vietnamese cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureirii), and Indian bay leaf (Cinnamomum tamala). The Ceylon variety is considered to be the real cinnamon, but all of these are often sold as cinnamon, with Cassia being the most common.
Cinnamon is used heavily in food preparation in both Sri Lanka and India. It is especially popular in beef curry and for use in flavoring tea. This spice had its height of popularity in the west somewhere around the 17th century. Today in the Western world it is really only used in desserts, which are often fruit based.
Most countries tend to use cinnamon in powdered form, and they apply it right before serving the dish. This is done because cinnamon can become bitter quickly if cooked for too long. But in India they prefer to use their cinnamon whole, where it is often fried in hot oil and combined with vegetables or yogurt.
The cinnamon plant also bears a fruit as well. This fruit must be harvested before it ripens and must be ground up until it is little more than a powder. This cinnamon fruit is really only used in China and in the Kutch region of India.
Cinnamon is a video game character. She is one of the drivers you can use in the Sega game Crazy Taxi 2
Cinnamon is an example of the fact that every video game with selectable characters has a cute young girl among the options. She fits that stereotype nicely. Pretty and naive, her main function in the game seems to be saying cute things. She is a light skinned black girl with her hair dyed blonde, and she drives what looks like a Mercury from the early 1960's. The game lists her blood type because this title originated in Japan, where blood type is used as an indicator of what "type" of person someone is. Much like horoscopes are used in China and in the western world.