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Cilantro or Coriander - They are Not Really the Same
Guacamole with Cilantro
Cilantro, it Looks like Parsley
Many people think that Cilantro and Coriander are the same thing but there is a slight difference. They both come from the same plant but the leaves are called Cilantro and the dried seeds are known as Coriander. But taken as a popular herb or spice, they are both popular in many parts of the world.
Traditionally Cilantro is used in many dishes such as Mexican salsa and guacamole. Salsa wouldn't be salsa with out Cilantro. I don't think I have ever had a good Salsa that did not have that familiar taste of Cilantro. My favorite is Mango Cilantro Salsa.
Cilantro also complements seafood, especially a more oily fish like salmon or tuna. With lighter white fish, I find that the Cilantro has a tendency to overwhelm the fish a bit. Cilantro is also popular with certain chicken dishes with Caribbean jerk chicken coming to mind.
Cilantro is not limited tp the latinos. The Greeks do a spaghetti sauce with Cilantro and spinach which is wonderful, especially when finished off with a few Ouzo's around 2am when the Greek restaurants are just getting a full head of steam.
IIn Asia and the Far-East, Cilantro is found in chutneys and in salads. My favorite from this grouping would be Tabbouleh which is a Lebanese/Turkish salad which includes lemon juice, olive oil and spring onions.
In my opinion, use only fresh Cilantro! It is inexpensive and can be found in most supermarkets that carry fresh herbs. The only bad thing about Cilantro is that it is now such an in-thing that folks are putting it on everything!
Coriander, which is the seeds of the plant, are used in the same types of dishes as Cilantro but Coriander does have one unique use. It is one of the ingredients in a German beer known as Witbier (white beer). The beer is popular in the summer time in Germany and lately some fruit flavored variations have sprung up in Belgium and Holland
Since Coriander comes from the dried seeds, it has a shelf life and sells as a prepared bottled spice. This makes Coriander the choice when you are looking for that particular flavor in a soup or a casserole that is going to be cooked.
Cilantro and your Libido
Ask almost most anyone what food will increase your libido and Oysters will invariably come up. Eat a dozen raw oysters with a glass of champagne to bring those desires to the front burner friends will tell you. But, of course you have to be able to swallow them! Some folks think Cilantro improves your sex drive while other take the opposite view. So far, credible science has yet to weigh in on either side of the Cilantro/Libido issue, So enjoy it for its culinary values!
Links to My Other Hubs on Herbs and Spices
- Rosemary - Herb/Spice and Beautiful Plant
If you have never used Rosemary in your kitchen, you are missing a treat! Try the sauteed carrots with Lemon and Rosemary. You will learn to love Rosemary!
- Bay Leaves - Fact and Fiction
The Bay Leaf is an unusual spice in that it gives off flavor and aroma but you don't actually have to eat it to enjoy it.
- Chives - More than an Additive for Sour Cream on a Baked Potato
Nothing complements cream cheese or sour cream like fresh chives!
- Parsley the Herb for Taste and Appearance
A nice dish simply looks better and tastes better whan it is garnished with Parsley!