Is it Cilantro, or is it Coriander?

by · August 27, 2008

There?s a debate whether this herb is called cilantro or coriander.

Depending on where you come from, this herb is either cilantro or coriander. Coriander, which is often referred to as coriander leaves in Great Britain, is also known as Arab, Chinese or Mexican parsley in France. In the United States and other parts of the world, it is called cilantro, the Spanish word for coriander leaves. Confused yet?

The coriander plant produces both leaves and seeds. The leaves are usually called cilantro while the seeds are called coriander seeds. To add confusion, some people call the seeds, cilantro. This plant is related to the carrot and parsley family. The flavors of the seeds and the leaves have no resemblance to each other.

Cilantro is considered a digestive aid, which stimulates the appetite and aids in the secretion of gastric juices. It also releases heat (fever) from the body.

I used to hate cilantro because of its extremely pungent odor and flavor. Interestingly, some people even have an enzyme in their saliva that makes cilantro taste like soap. It seems that you either love it, or hate it. I know, “hate” is a strong word to use but there are cilantro haters out there that exist. Are you one of them?

There?s even a website solely dedicated for the fight against cilantro.

Bobby Flay used to say, ?If you don?t like cilantro, try it again.? The herb blends itself well to highly seasoned food, yet still enables most dishes to retain their strong characteristics and individuality. As one of the most versatile herbs used in many different cuisines, I agree that cilantro or coriander leaves deserve a second chance.

Here are a couple recipes, if you’d like to re-introduce yourself to the wonderful flavor of cilantro and or coriander. This first one is Lemon Cilantro Roasted Chicken. This next one is for Lemon Coriander Prawns (which also just happens to be my first Rouxbe video recipe :-)

p.s. While doing some research on cumin and coriander I came across this site called “cumin and coriander” and I just thought I would share it with you, as the food and photos looks really good.

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