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|
- Bánh Xèo, Vietnamese crèpes stuffed with shrimp. This is street food, which is always a great window into local food.
- Lots of Thai dishes, like this shrimp in coconut milk.
- Chicken Tikka Masala, while invented in the UK by an Indian restaurant, is attributed as Indian cuisine.
- Biryani is a rice dish that's more natively Indian.
- Persian dishes, like rice and yogurt. Making a crusty layer of rice on the bottom of the dish and inverting it on top is the coolest thing I've discovered about Persian food. It takes practice but it's fantastic.
- Ethiopian stews. This lentil stew is one of my favorite dishes of all.
- Lots of different Moroccan tagines. Like this one, this one, or this one.
- Spanish tapas, like these olives.
- Ropa vieja, rundown, and other Caribbean dishes.
- Various tacos, queso fundido, huevos rancheros, soups and lots of other Mexican dishes.
- Ceviche from Peru, and empanadas from everywhere across South America and southern Central America.
- And, of course, guacamole. Try it with bacon, you'll be glad you did.