Cilantro ( pronounced sih-LAHN-troh) is member of the carrot family and is also referred to as Chinese Parsley and Coriander. It is actually the leaves (and stems) of the Coriander plant. Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The Cilantro leaves look a bit like flat Italian parsley and in fact are related.
Coriander grows wild in South East Europe and had been cultivated in Egypt, India and China for thousands of years. It is mentioned in Sanskrit text and the Bible. Spanish conquistadors introduced it to Mexico and Peru where it now commonly paired with chilies in the local cuisine. It has since become very popular in the Southwest and Western part of the United States as well as in most metropolitan areas. An interesting note is that people of European descent frequently are reviled by the smell of cilantro. It has not gained in popularity in Europe as it has in many other parts of the world.
Coriander is considered an aid to the digestive system. It is an appetite stimulant and aids in the secretion of gastric juices. A poultice of Coriander seed can be applied externally to relieve painful joints and rheumatism. Once source (Herbs & Herb Gardening by Jessica Houdret) said the seeds can be mixed with violets for a remedy for a hangover.
The essential oils of the cilantro leaves contain antibacterial properties and can be used as a fungicide. Coriander seeds have cholesterol-lowering properties. Cilantro was also known to be used as an appetite stimulant.
Storing and CookingBefore you store cilantro, it should be rinsed and left moist (not wet) and placed in a plastic bag. Cilantro may be stored for up to one week.
In the Middle East, the cilantro leaves are used in pickles, curries, and chutneys. In Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., it is used in everything from salsas and salads to burritos or meat dishes. The coriander seeds are used in sweets, breads, cakes and to flavor liqueurs.
- Cilantro and Coriander Cooking Tips:
- Cilantro and coriander are not interchangeable as they have different flavors and textures.
- Fresh cilantro leaves are preferable in all applications calling for cilantro leaves.
- Coriander seeds are generally toasted before being ground to bring out their full flavor.
- Coriander is a popular ingredient in Indian curries.
- Cilantro root can be used as a replacement for garlic. Wash thoroughly before mincing or crushing.
- When adding fresh cilantro to a hot dish, add at the last minute to get full benefit of the flavor.
- Parsley may be substituted for cilantro, but it will be a far cry from the original recipe intent. â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨
Bob's Fabulous Yummy Marinade
CSA 2010 is closed
Where We Are
Spring is Coming!
Thursdays are open for visitation. We are packing seed orders and chatting it up with friends and family. In addition to eggs and seeds, there are also dry beans and some root stocks floating around and available. The home farm is located at 10145 Oxford Rd. We hope to see you soon!
Boulder Farmers Market re-opens Saturdays on April 2 from 8-2 and Wednesdays on May 4 from 4-8
This year we will also have seeds at the Longmont Farmer's Market for the first 6 markets.