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What is cilantro? What is Chinese parsley?

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cilantro, herb, recipes, coriander, receipts

Cilantro

© 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
Question: What is cilantro? What is Chinese parsley?
Cilantro is known by several different names
Answer: Cilantro is a member of the carrot family and is botanically-known as Coriandrum sativum. The plant and leaves are called cilantro in the Americas, while the seeds (used as a spice) are called coriander (see below). To confuse matters further, the leaves are often referred to as Mexican parsley, Chinese parsley, and coriander.

The leaves (which do resemble flat-leaf parsley), stems, and even the root of the cilantro plant are edible. The most common description of the taste by those who do not care for cilantro is, "It tastes like soap." Those who enjoy this herb agree that the flavor is definitely strong and pungent, but incomparable to any other herb except its cousin, culantro, which does have a similar aroma but is much more pungent in flavor.

Cilantro is sold fresh by the bunch in the produce section of most markets. Dried cilantro is available in some markets, but it is pretty much worthless since the flavor and aroma are lost in the drying process.

More about Cilantro and Cilantro Recipes:

Cilantro and Coriander Cooking Tips
Cilantro and Coriander Storage and Selection
What is cilantro? FAQ
What is coriander? FAQ
What is culantro? FAQ
Cilantro Recipes
Cilantro Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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