Crop of the Week: Cilantro
1. Also called coriander, Chinese parsley and Mexican parsley, cilantro has a strong, sage, citrus
flavor that many find irresistible. In general, herbs should be fresh looking, crisp and brightly colored.
2. Cilantro is probably one of the first herbs to be used by mankind, perhaps going back as far back
as 5000 BC. It is mentioned in early Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 BC. The Romans spread it throughout Europe, and it was one of the first spices to arrive in America.
3.The leaves have a very different taste from the seeds. Some people instead perceive an unpleasant “soapy” taste and/or a rank smell. This perception is believed to be a result of an enzyme
that changes the way they taste cilantro, a genetic trait, but has yet to be fully studied.
4. Cilantro has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iranian folk
5. To store cilantro, cut off the stem ends and place the bunch in a glass of water and keep it refrigerated until you use
6. A member of the Umbelliferae family, which includes carrots and parsley, cilantro is one of the
more fragile herbs, with its delicate, lacy foliage reminiscent of flat leaf parsley.
7. The flowers of cilantro are white or very pale pink, asymmetrical, with the petals pointing away
from the center.
8.Cilantro was mentioned as an aphrodisiac in The Tales of the Arabian Nights.
9. Cilantro essential oil showed a delay in E. coli growth, suggesting possible agricultural antibacterial applications.
10. Although cilantro is most often associated with the cuisines of Mexico and Asia, the herb originated in the southern reaches of the Mediterranean.