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Ingredient of the week, January 15: Cilantro

Posted by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM
  • 18 Replies

 

                

Cilantro
Pronounced [sih-LAHN-troh] this member of the carrot family 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 believed to be named after "koris", the Greek word for "bedbug" as it was said they both emitted a similar odor. The Chinese used the herb in love potions believing it provided immortality. Coriander is one of the herbs thought to have aphrodisiac qualities. The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also know to be used as an "appetite" stimulant.

Buy and Store
Cilantro can normally be found fresh in your local grocery store and is available year-round. Before you store cilantro it should be rinsed and left moist (not wet) and place in a plastic bag. The cilantro may be stored for up to 1 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.

        

 

 

Do you like cilantro? What do you use it in?

by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM
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Replies (1-10):
beatlelovermom
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 6:24 PM
Salsa :)
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periwinkle163
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 9:06 PM

 I don't like it, to me it taste like soap.

la1118
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Love cilantro. I cook a lot of tex-mex and Mexican food and use it in a lot of those foods. Pico de gallo, Mexican rice, for example.
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KaylaMillar
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Love cilantro! I use it on southwestern corn chowder and anything mexican
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Mommy2TwinGirls
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I LOVE cilantro!
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rkoloms
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM


Quoting periwinkle163:

 I don't like it, to me it taste like soap.

I know that you will think this is an odd response, but that is so cool. Did you know that is a genetic trait?

queenmary1o1
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM
I like it I really want to know how to make salsa with it
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periwinkle163
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 7:22 PM

 

Quoting rkoloms:

 

Quoting periwinkle163:

 I don't like it, to me it taste like soap.

I know that you will think this is an odd response, but that is so cool. Did you know that is a genetic trait?

 That makes sense, my dd hates it too. We had salsa with cilantro in it at a party and she looked at me and said she thought they didn't rinse her bowl out when they washed it, lol. I wonder if there are any other traits linked to it.

"It is my observations, though, that happiness limits the amount of suffering one is willing to inflict upon others"
— Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel's Dart)
rkoloms
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 7:31 PM


Quoting periwinkle163:

 

Quoting rkoloms:


Quoting periwinkle163:

 I don't like it, to me it taste like soap.

I know that you will think this is an odd response, but that is so cool. Did you know that is a genetic trait?

 That makes sense, my dd hates it too. We had salsa with cilantro in it at a party and she looked at me and said she thought they didn't rinse her bowl out when they washed it, lol. I wonder if there are any other traits linked to it.

I have no idea. It is just a random fact that I picked up when my daughter took AP Biology

epoh
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 7:49 PM
I didnt know that! I know a lot of people say it tastes like soap but I didn't know it was genetic.

Quoting rkoloms:



Quoting periwinkle163:

 I don't like it, to me it taste like soap.

I know that you will think this is an odd response, but that is so cool. Did you know that is a genetic trait?

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