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Cassia bark
Cassia - top, cinnamon - bottom

Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum, synonym C. cassia), (bastard cinnamon) is an evergreen tree native to southern China, Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam. Like its close relative, cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, also known as "true cinnamon" or "Ceylon cinnamon"), it is used primarily for its aromatic bark, which is used as a spice, often under the culinary name of "cinnamon". The buds are also used as a spice, especially in India, and were once used by the ancient Romans. Cassia sticks can be distinguished from true cinnamon sticks in the following manner: cinnamon sticks have many thin layers and can easily be made into powder using a coffee or spice grinder, whereas cassia sticks are extremely hard, are usually made up of one thick layer, and can break an electric spice or coffee grinder if one attempts to grind them without first breaking them into very small pieces.

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