Cilantro Article - Allrecipes.com
Add a Comment

Cilantro




Description


Cilantro is the green leaves and stems of the herb, Coriandrum sativum, an annual herb of the parsley family. Also known as Chinese parsley, cilantro has a distinctive green, waxy flavor. Cilantro is the usual name for the leaf of the plant that is otherwise identified as coriander, and from which coriander seed is obtained.


Uses

Used in salsas, chutneys, salads, dips, beans and soups, cilantro is found in Asian, Mexican, Indian, Tex-Mex, Caribbean, and North African cuisines. Cilantro is used in seasoning blends and sauces such as masala, curry, salsa and recados.


Origins


Cilantro is believed to have been one of the earliest plantings in North America, where the cilantro leaves, rather than the seed, became more popular. Today, it is cultivated in the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, in Mexico and in the U.S.


Folklore


Cilantro is mentioned in the Medical Papyrus of Thebes written in 1552 B.C. and is one of the plants which grew in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Ancient Hebrews added cilantro to an herb mixture used in the ritual of Passover. Greek and Roman physicians hailed its medicinal powers. The Coriandum sativum herb was planted in 1670 in Massachusetts, and it soon appeared in Latin America.


    Color


    Light to medium, fresh green

    Flavor & Aroma


    Waxy, citrus, soapy

    Sensory Profile


    The flavor and aroma of Cilantro is generally described as being waxy, citrus and soapy in nature. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the Coriander seed.

      Comments
      Nov. 25, 2009 4:27 am
      Can someone tell me how to dry cilantro? I have grown it in my garden as I love the flavor, made cilantro pesto (delicious) but aj still losing too much of it when it's around for more than a few days.
       
      Feb. 16, 2010 12:29 pm
      I just posted this elsewhere, but this seems a more appropriate place: Can someone tell me how much a "bunch" of Cilantro is? The recipe for "African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup" calls for a bunch to top off with, but I'm pretty sure the huge bunch I bought at the supermarket is more than intended in the recipe...
       
      Catherine 
      May 2, 2010 6:42 pm
      I planted Cilantro in my small garden and have alot and would like to know can I chop and freeze it.
       
      Jun. 11, 2010 7:06 am
      I was told [never tried this] to chop up the herb, put it into ice cube trays, pour a little water to freeze, then pop out the little herb cubes into a zip lock freezer bag & keep in freezer till needed. the same idea with butter, mix chopped herbs with butter, put a dollop into cube tray[s], pop out after frozen & keep in zip lock frozen till you need herb butter.
       
      Jun. 16, 2010 1:09 pm
      If you need chopped fresh cilantro, it's really easy to get it all diced up with a pizza cutter! So much easier than knives or scissors!
       
      plohr 
      Jan. 11, 2011 6:49 pm
      If not coriander, is there a dried equivalent of cilantro?
       
      Jun. 6, 2011 2:36 pm
      You can purchase dried cilantro in the store. It is the leaves dried as opposed to the seed (coriander). I dry it in from my garden every year. Here is a tip to keep your herbs green when you dry them. Blanch them before drying and they will stay green. Keeping the herbs on the stalk, swirl the stalk through boiling water for a few seconds. Then immediately swirl through ice water. Then hang to dry. They'll stay nice and green, and once dry, you can crumble the leaves from the stalk quite easily.
       
      Jun. 8, 2011 8:00 pm
      You can also chop it up and freeze it in ice cube trays to add to stuff. However, the frozen herbs are no substitute for fresh. The frozen does have more flavor than dried in my opinion.
       
      Jenni612 
      Jul. 4, 2011 5:33 pm
      is-there-anything-we-can-do-with-the-rest-of-the-plant,-sorry-my-spacebar-just-decided-to-quit-working
       
      Jul. 26, 2011 8:24 pm
      what is the best way to grow and care for a cilantro plant?
       
      Aug. 15, 2011 10:53 am
      The shelf life of cilantro seems to be two days. Usually I throw it away before I get to use it. How to store cilantro? In the fridge? on the counter in water?
       
      Feb. 8, 2012 3:11 pm
      You can store fresh cilantro with 1/2 of lemon in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator,it will last about 3 weeks or longer.
       
      filmpixel 
      Apr. 30, 2012 7:24 pm
      Cilantro is so disgusting -- I can't believe people actually eat this and enjoy it!
       
      evilpicklepirate 
      Apr. 30, 2012 9:57 pm
      From what I understand, most people really love cilantro or really hate it. It has been suggested that a genetic trait may affect your taste for cilantro. It tastes rather rotten to me, but I can tolerate it in very small concentrations.
       
      May 1, 2012 4:37 am
      If the recipe calls for cilantro it's already a winner in my book. Love the stuff! Growing it in the garden this year. It seems to add a wonderful freshness to recipes.
       
      May 1, 2012 10:00 am
      The key to cilantro lasting in the refrigerator. I just learned this and it works!!! Place cilantro in a cup and fill half way up with water(enough that the stalks are covered), place a plastic bag loosly over the top (I found the plastic bags that you put your veggies in a the grocery works best). Put in the refrigerator, it should last for up to 3 weeks!!!
       
      May 1, 2012 1:06 pm
      I added cilantro into some burger patties recently it was awesome.
       
      May 4, 2012 11:28 am
      We love cilantro, wish I had luck growing it. Great tip about using the pizza cutter to chop it. Good article and great comments here.
       
      iesika 
      May 5, 2012 1:49 am
      Cilantro contains some of the same chemicals that make stinkbugs stink, but not everyone can taste them (there's a fine balance, evolutionarily speaking, between being to sensitive or not sensitive enough to bitter plant compounds that sometimes indicate poison). If there is a cilantro leaf in my food by mistake, it can ruin the whole dish for me by making the whole thing taste like bugs and poison, and if someone is chopping it I have to leave the kitchen or even the house. If you're having guests and you don't know their cilantro preferences, you should probably leave it off of the menu. One in four people will find the food inedible.
       
      Anita 
      May 5, 2012 11:46 am
      The first time I used Cilantro I used too much,yuck. Now I know not to use it like parsley. Less is better. Thanks for the tips on how to keep it fresh, just bought some yesterday and being single I don't use it fast enough.
       
      mountain grandma 
      May 6, 2012 8:51 am
      I've recently learned that there may be evidence that fresh cilantro can remove heavy metals from your system - keeping you from having tremors and other bad stuff in later years. So, it may also be anti-poison.
       
      terryl 
      May 6, 2012 1:03 pm
      What's the best substitute if you don't have any cilantro on hand. I'm not a fan so buy it rarely. I grow many herbs and have tried mixing some mint and parsley, but would appreciate any suggestions.
       
      Mel 
      Jun. 23, 2012 10:35 am
      It's strange but I loather cilantro when I was younger. Fresh cilantro tasted like soap to me, eating anything with fresh cilantro in it made me feel like I was getting my mouth washed out with soap. Now I love it! I grow it and cook with it often. Weird hey...
       
      MRSPOLLY 
      Jul. 11, 2012 1:08 pm
      I find that if I wrap the bunch of cilantro in a paper towel and then put it in a plastic bag it lasts for weeks and weeks. No more black slime.
       
      dodi 
      Aug. 13, 2012 8:54 am
      I have a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro-but the store was out,so I got dried. How much do I use?
       
      RioBravo 
      Apr. 29, 2013 11:14 am
      If you have a lot of this herb left over you can chop it and put it into ice cube trays with olive oil and freeze it, Not only will it infuse the oil but it will keep for a very long time.
       
      Apr. 29, 2013 3:27 pm
      While I haven't dried cilantro, I have dried celery leaves (and I reckon cilantro would be identical). Just put on a cookie sheet, place in a warm oven (lowest possible setting). Turn oven off. Repeat several times over the course of a couple/three days until dry enough to crumble. Keep in airtight container with other spices. BTW: Cilantro is known as coriander in New Zealand (though to be technical, it should be referred to as coriander leaves as coriander is a seed).
       
      Apr. 30, 2013 11:43 am
      There is a genetic trait in everyone that either causes people to love cilantro or else find it 'soapy.' Apparently every person falls in to one of these two categories which is fascinating (I'm a science geek but also love cooking), so I guess it's fascinating to *me.* :) Anyhow, if you blanch for a moment, ice it then hang to dry, it will result in a very tasty dried herb.
       
      Slugslayer 
      May 3, 2013 1:12 pm
      I have found that where you purchase cilantro makes a difference in the refridg life. When I purchase from a grocery store, it will be a small bunch and only last 2 days. I get mine from local produce stand (at half the price) and I have had it last for 2 to 3 weeks. Always clip the stem end of the cilantro. Immediately put the cilantro, stem down in a jar with a little water and keep in the fridge.
       
      edcheung 
      May 4, 2013 3:39 pm
      Here is a link to the summary of 2 genetics articles about the taste of Cilantro. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/09/14/161057954/love-to-hate-cilantro-its-in-your-genes-and-maybe-in-your-head
       
       
      ADVERTISEMENT
      Go Pro!

      In Season

      Hop On Easter
      Hop On Easter

      Recipes for baked ham, deviled eggs, and oh-so-cute treats.

      Fresh Spring Recipes
      Fresh Spring Recipes

      The best ways to enjoy what’s in season right now.

      Subscribe Today!
      Subscribe Today!

      Delicious recipes, party ideas, and helpful cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for just $9.99!

      Related Videos

      Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

      Tender shredded chicken makes a 5-star filling for tacos and enchiladas.

      Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

      See how to make a quinoa salad with dried cranberries.

      Heather's Cilantro, Black Bean, and Corn Salsa

      A lively corn, avocado, and bean relish great with chips or as a side dish.

      Most Popular Blogs

      Read our allrecipes.com blog

      Recently Viewed Recipes

      You haven't looked at any recipes lately. Get clicking!
      Quick Links: Recipe Box | Shopping List | More »
       
      Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

      Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States