While in Grenada in summer '02, we bought (as the tourist industry really wants you to, but we were willing) a lot of whole spices: nutmegs, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. (Incidentally, the locally-harvested Grenadian nutmeg, when grated, is really excellent--much more pungent and tasty than whole nutmegs bought in a bottle at Whole Foods.) It's been two years now, but I finally got around to grinding a cinnamon stick in my clean coffee grinder-cum-spice mill. Surprisingly, while tasty, it's not much like powdered cinnamon from the store: it's more citrusy, kind of like bergamot, and lighter in overall impact. Furthermore, the whole sticks themselves are much thicker, more pliable, and more loosely curled than store-bought cinnamon sticks. I'm wondering if what I have is not cinnamon at all but some other, related bark.
So, does anyone know: is there some variant of cinnamon that's known or sold as cinnamon in the West Indies? Or is cinnamon in its less-processed state just like this?