Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hey, This Isn't Parsley!

Yes, it kind of looks a little like parsley, but it's a very different flavor.  There have been plenty of times when I've been in a hurry and grabbed the wrong one.  And, I'll admit, planting them next to each other in the garden last year wasn't the brightest thing I've ever done.

Most of us know cilantro is chopped up and put in guacamole, but it plays a role in a much broader swath of world cuisine than most people realize.  Cilantro, also called coriander (yes, they're the same) is native from Southeast Asia all the way across Eurasia to Southern Europe and North Africa.  And from Southern Europe, such as Spain, cilantro migrated across the Atlantic to Latin America.  In addition to using the leaves, the seeds are toasted and ground to use as a spice.  That's what you likely have in your spice rack.

Photo via Food & Wine
So, basically follow the Equator from the Pacific coast of Asia west around the whole world and you'll find cilantro in the local cuisine.  For example:

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