24 Cilantro Facts You Need To Know

by Spicie Foodie on February 15, 2014

24 Cilantro Facts You Need To Know by @SpicieFoodie | #cilantro #coriander #foodinfo #foodfacts

• Cilantro is also known as coriander or Chinese parsley.

• The word cilantro is Spanish for coriander and is what we call the leaves and plant in the Americas; The seeds are referred to as coriander. In the rest of the world coriander is what the leaves/plant are called.

• It comes from southern Europe, North Africa and western parts of Asia.

• Cilantro has been around since biblical times and references can be found in the Bible, ancient texts from China, Egypt, Indian and the Roman empire.

• Both the plant and seeds are heavily used in Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern and southeast Asian cuisines. But are also common in Central Asian, Mediterranean, Latin America, Chinese, African and even Scandinavian cuisine.

• Cilantro was brought to the North American colonies by the English in 1670.

24 Cilantro Facts You Need To Know by @SpicieFoodie | #cilantro #coriander #foodinfo #foodfacts

• The whole plant is edible. Yes, that’s right, from the leaves to the steams, roots and seeds. But the seeds should never be used in place of the leaves and vice versa.

• The root has more taste than the leaves, stems and seeds. Don’t throw it out because you can grind it up to make Thai curry pastes.

• The seeds are always called coriander and they are ground up with other ingredients to make curry spice mixes and pastes.

• Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves have a lightly citrus taste. The seeds have a stronger or more pungent taste and scent.

• There are many people who find the taste of cilantro repulsive. Some describe it as leaving a soapy taste in their mouths. The reason for the unpleasant taste has to do with genetics, you either like it or hate it. There is even an online community called “I Hate Cilantro”.

• The leaves should be added to warm/hot foods right before serving. The reason being that heat diminishes their flavour.

24 Cilantro Facts You Need To Know by @SpicieFoodie | #cilantro #coriander #foodinfo #foodfacts

• Certain European rye breads occasionally use coriander seeds for flavouring.

• Some Belgian beer breweries use coriander with orange peel to add citrus undertones to beer.

• Cilantro leaves have high antioxidant properties and can delay or prevent food from spoiling.

• More nutrition is found in fresh cilantro than in the coriander seeds.

• In Europe it is called the “anti-diabetic” plant because it is believed to help control blood sugar. In Indian it is used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.

• Coriander seeds may be purchased whole or ground. But I recommend buying whole and grinding as you need. Once ground the flavour qualities are lost quickly.

24 Cilantro Facts You Need To Know by @SpicieFoodie | #cilantro #coriander #foodinfo #foodfacts

• You can grow plants with the seeds you have in your pantry. I have and it grows like crazy!

• To select fresh leaves make sure to look for a fragrant, unwilted and medium green bunch.

• Fresh coriander leaves don’t have a long shelf life after being cut from the plant. Additionally their aroma is completely lost when dried or frozen.

• To store, place in a loose plastic bag in the refrigerator. Alternatively you can place in a jar of water and loosely cover the leaves with a plastic bag. Make sure to change the water every couple of days.

• Before using, gently rinse throughly and pat dry.

• What to use fresh cilantro in: use it to top your favourite Mexican dishes, to make guacamole or salsas. Mix it into your favourite curries, make chutney or pesto with it too. Toss it in with your regular salad greens for a boost of flavour. Combine with garlic, sea salt and unsalted butter for an herby buttery spread.

The possibilities with cilantro are truly endless. Tell me what is your favourite way to use cilantro? Or are you a hater?


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in Food Facts,Herbs

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nandita February 15, 2014 at 2:01 PM

This is a very informative post! I love cilantro and coriander seeds and my everyday cooking wouldbe incomplete without them. The pictures are stunning as always nancy. I loved that red background


2 Laura (Tutti Dolci) February 15, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs, great facts!


3 Rosa February 15, 2014 at 7:14 PM

One of my favorite herbs and spices! Thanks for the interesting article.




4 Chrissy February 15, 2014 at 9:01 PM

It’s so interesting how different the whole plant tastes from the powder/seeds. I’m a lover and throw it in anything that I think it may have a chance of working with, and am particularly keen on Mexican.


5 mjskit February 15, 2014 at 11:47 PM

Great Information Nancy! Thanks! I didn’t know you could eat the root of the plant. And here I threw mine out last year. I remember seeing an article a while back where the soapy taste is due to a gene. I’ve been studying genetics a lot lately so I find it quite interesting that even something like that is associated with a gene.


6 Mimi February 16, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Great post! I’m a lover. I wish I could somehow hang it under my nose all day.


7 easyfoodsmith February 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

A very informative post Nancy. I love coriander – the leaves and the seeds. I use them extensively in curries.


8 Rhonda February 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Cilantro is my favorite herb! When I was younger I hated the taste…It tasted like soap but now I love it and especially the smell…I love to use it instead of lettuce on sandwiches and on hot dogs too.

I didn’t know you could grow the seeds from the spice you buy at the grocery store. I am going to try it.


9 John@Kitchen Riffs February 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I never knew you could use the root! Really informative post — thanks.


10 Arthur in the Garden! February 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Great tips!


11 cheapethniceatz February 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Great info. I have always been in love with cilantro. Will trying growing the seeds!


12 Suzanne Perazzini February 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM

I love cilantro – definitely my favourite herb. I find ways to put it into many savoury dishes and it’s perfect in Thai-inspired recipes.


13 Suej February 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I used to be a lover and now, not so much. It’s the smell, and the invasion here of the brown marmorated stink bug. When disturbed, well, they stink. And the stink is like a mutated form of cilantro. so now cilantro reminds me of stink bugs. It is very sad. Especially since I have a local market where I can get four bunches for $1…


14 Ramona February 18, 2014 at 6:10 AM

I am unfortunately in the “I hate” cilantro camp. I am the only one in my family that got the gene….even my kids love cilantro. I do like the coriander seeds… that tastes nice to me. But the fresh cilantro is my own personal kryptonite. I wish I could eat it… it’s got loads of health benefits.


15 EA-The Spicy RD February 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Love this post! And, I am a BIG TIME cilantro lover!!! I had no idea you could plant the coriander seeds and grow cilantro. I’m planting some tomorrow :-)


16 rika@vm February 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Cilantro is my all-time favorite herb to use in everything else from dressing to garnish, or even in a gin cocktail! Love this post!


17 Spicie Foodie February 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Oooh a gin cocktail, that sounds like something I need to try! Thanks!


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