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Foundation for Diet and Health
The best perspective for your health
The best perspective for your health
The best perspective for your health
The best perspective for your health
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Cilantro

Green cilantro has a lemony, peppery smell and a sweet and sour flavor; some people think it has an unpleasant soapy taste.
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With Cilantro, you can use both the leaves, which look like flat-leaf parsley, as well as the seeds and roots. The cilantro aroma is created primarily by aldehydes, which are also found in soap and insects. This can cause people who are not used to cilantro to have an aversion to it.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae.

“​Coriander is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and northern Africa to southwestern Asia.”

Nutritional information:

The nutritional profile of coriander seeds is different from the fresh stems or leaves. Leaves are particularly rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, with moderate content of dietary minerals (table above). Although seeds generally have lower content of vitamins, they do provide significant amounts of dietary fiber, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Uses:

“All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. Coriander is used in cuisines throughout the world. The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, dhania, Chinese parsley, or (in the US and commercially in Canada) cilantro. ... The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones. However, some people find the leaves to have an unpleasant soapy taste or a rank smell and avoid them.”

“The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods (such as chutneys and salads); in Chinese and Thai dishes; in Mexican cooking, particularly in salsa and guacamole and as a garnish; and in salads in Russia and other CIS countries. Chopped coriander leaves are a garnish on Indian dishes such as dal. As heat diminishes their flavor, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until the flavor diminishes. The leaves spoil quickly when removed from the plant, and lose their aroma when dried or frozen.”

“The dry fruits are known as coriander seeds. The word "coriander" in food preparation may refer solely to these seeds (as a spice), rather than to the plant. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavor when crushed, due to terpeneslinalool and pinene. It is described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavored. ... Large-fruited types are grown mainly by tropical and subtropical countries, Morocco, India, and Australia, and contain a low volatile oil content (0.1-0.4%). They are used extensively for grinding and blending purposes in the spice trade. Types with smaller fruit are produced in temperate regions and usually have a volatile oil content around 0.4-1.8%, so are highly valued as a raw material for the preparation of essential oil.”

Culinary uses of seeds:

“Coriander is commonly found both as whole dried seeds and in ground form. Roasting or heating the seeds in a dry pan heightens the flavor, aroma, and pungency. Ground coriander seed loses flavor quickly in storage and is best ground fresh. Coriander seed is a spice in garam masala and Indian curries which often employ the ground fruits in generous amounts together with cumin, acting as a thickener in a mixture called dhana jeera. Roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal, are eaten as a snack. They are the main ingredient of the two south Indian dishes: sambhar and rasam.”

“Outside of Asia, coriander seed is used widely in the process for pickling vegetables. In Germany and South Africa, the seeds are used while making sausages. In Russia and Central Europe, coriander seed is an occasional ingredient in rye bread, as an alternative to caraway. The Zuni people of North America have adapted it into their cuisine, mixing the powdered seeds ground with chile and using it as a condiment with meat, and eating leaves as a salad.”

Taste and smell:

“Different people may perceive the taste of coriander leaves differently. Those who enjoy it say it has a refreshing, lemony or lime-like flavor, while those who dislike it have a strong aversion to its taste and smell, characterizing it as soapy or rotten. Studies also show variations in preference among different ethnic groups: 21% of East Asians, 17% of Caucasians, and 14% of people of African descent expressed a dislike for coriander, but among the groups where coriander is popular in their cuisine, only 7% of South Asians, 4% of Hispanics, and 3% of Middle Eastern subjects expressed a dislike.”


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