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Common Name: Cilantro

Genus Species: Coriandrum sativum

Family: Umbellifers

Origin: Southern Europe

Cultivation: Morocco, Romania and Egypt

Description: The seed of the well-known cilantro or Chinese parsley plant (Coriandrum sativum) is known as coriander, and it is a spice with one of the longest histories of use. The name coriander is derived from the Greek word koris, meaning bedbug, since the unripe seeds and leaves when crushed have a smell suggestive of a crushed bedbug. The plant is indigenous to Greece, but the seed is now as well known in Asiatic and South American as it is in Mediterranean cooking. Cilantro is regarded as an herb, and is used with Mexican salsas, in Greek dishes and, along with the seeds of coriander, in Indian curries and in Thai food. Coriander is used in condiments, desserts, liqueurs, perfumes and in candies. Sugar covered coriander was known as comfits; these were used ceremoniously as a predecessor of paper confetti.

Information courteousy of UCLA Biomedical Library

Recipes that Use Cilantro: