True cinnamon originates from the inner bark of tropical evergreen trees native to Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar. Its processing is labor intensive – the bark must be peeled away in thin layers by hand and dried naturally. Grating cinnamon, however, is not labor-intensive; a box grater renders the quills into manageable pieces, and it is then ground further using a spice grinder or a superfine plane grater. Hand-ground cinnamon is exponentially more potent and pungent than market-form ground cinnamon.
Grate the cinnamon sticks over a bowl using the fine blades of a box grater.
Assay the cinnamon’s texture to determine if it meets the standards for the preparation. A box grater usually produces a medium-fine texture.
Place the ground cinnamon in a spice grinder to create a finer granule. Pulse for two seconds, remove the cover and check the cinnamon’s fineness.
Continue pulsing in two second increments until desire texture is achieved.