da ‘erb 1: coriander

Let’s also explore the weird world of herbs!

Coriander, whose leaves are known hereabouts as cilantro, is not from the Americas (although the similar tasting but slightly spiky and unrelated culantro is)!!

That is blowing my mind right now! I had assumed it was one of America’s donations to the Columbian Exchange (which, in all honesty, seems to have been more than a little one-sided in all but a few ways), but it wasn’t!

It turns out that coriander (with the awesome binomial name of Coriandrum sativum) has a home range between Southern Europe, Northern Africa and South-East Asia. So it comes from everywhere as long as there was no snow, or Americans. Cuhrazy!

Here it seems that people differentiate between cilantro as the leaves (herb) and coriander as the seeds (spice), but in Australia at least, we call it all coriander, and the seeds are known as coriander seeds.

The herb is known as a digestive aid, especially the seeds, according to one of my naturopaths. Wikipedia says it is used to cure acne in Iran. I know it best as a means to lure and trap hippies with its luscious and peaceable aroma, its earthy and satisfying flavor and hopes of pairing with lentils!

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~ by maoctopus on February 26, 2011.

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