Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavoring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snackfoods, and traditional foods. The aroma and flavor of cinnamon derive from its essential oil and principal component, cinnamaldehyde, as well as numerous other constituents, including eugenol.
Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BCE, but those who report it had come from China confuse it with cassia. Cinnamon was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god; a fine inscription records the gift of cinnamon and cassia to the temple of Apollo at Miletus.