Cilantro: The Other Green Leaf Herb

Share this post

Did you ever grab Italian parsley when you meant to get  cilantro? They look so similar, it happens to the best of  us. Both are in the Apiaceae family, cilantro being the  green brother that’s a bit lighter in weight and color. Its other siblings are  carrot, caraway, fennel, celery, and the lovely roadside Queen Anne’s lace.

Cilantro leads a double life as leaf herb/spice seed. We are mostly familiar  with the leaves’ fresh taste in guacamole, salads, and salsas. The cilantro  flower’s seed, known to us as coriander, is used in many exotic and  everyday dishes.

The other duality we find with cilantro is that some people love love love it, and other people, well, despise it. Dr. Charles Wysocki, a behavioral  neuroscientist at Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center, an  independent nonprofit research center, researched this herbal schism.  He had 41 pairs of twins taste cilantro and determined that affection or  aversion to it is likely genetic. Dr. Wysocki contends that dislike seems  to stem from cilantro’s odor, not its taste. It appears that Cilantro Haters  are unable to detect chemicals in the herb’s leaves that are pleasing to  Cilantro Lovers. A small number of people are actually allergic to the herb,  but they don’t usually complain about the taste, just the hives or other  symptoms that come after ingesting dishes that include it.

Cilantro is a good source of magnesium and iron and also reportedly  has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. If you’re in the  “I ♥ Cilantro” camp, then you’ll likely find many ways to use this delightful  herb. Cilantro is a wonderful nosegay for those with the schnoz for it.

Preparation: Try it as an alternative to basil in a pesto or to parsley in  chimichurri. You can make a tasty cilantro/lime butter, brighten mango  salsa, or sprinkle on tacos or curried dishes.

Storage: The best way to store fresh herbs is to plunk them like a bouquet  in a jar one-third full of water and place a plastic bag over the top.

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.