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Used in both sweet and savory dishes, cinnamon has a sweetly spicy flavor and heady fragrance. Cinnamon lends its unique flavor to many beverages, including mulled cider and wine, punch, chai and spicy teas, smoothies, eggnog, and winter coffees.
Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, but those who reported that it had come from China had confused it with cinnamon cassia, a related species. Cinnamon was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a deity; a fine inscription records the gift of cinnamon and cassia to the temple of Apollo at Miletus.