One of the oldest spices known to mankind, this little subtle perfumed stick has been growing on the little tree grown in India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Egypt. In India, the liberal use made of cinnamon for as long as anyone can remember. In the 3rd century BC, this small stick of gold reaches Greeks and Roman. It’s early used was for aphrodisiac and tonic.
The famous legend of Emperor Nero narrates how in the rage he killed this wife Poppea and burned her funeral pyre with all reserves of Cinnamon in Rome. It was said that Cinnamon was one of the most expensive commodities imported in ancient Roman Empire
The supremacy of the cinnamon trade in India is legendary, to gain control over cinnamon was fought by Portuguese, Dutch and British. The largest island in the Indian Ocean, Srilanka was the major cultivator and exporter of Cinnamon from 17th century under the Dutch regime. Dutch lot the, monopoly to the British’s around 1769. It is said the production of Cinnamon under British control nearly reach a thousand tonnes.
To commemorate this ancient and medicinal spice of India, India Post issued a stamp illustrating the Cinnamon sticks in 2009.
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Image Courtesy: Mintage World