Like other spices, coriander is available year-round in stores, delivering us it’s distinctive aroma, reminiscent of citrus peel and garden tea.
The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds, which being dried, are turned into pieces to use as a spice. When the raw seeds are yellow-brown in color with longitudinal stripes. Coriander is sold in whole bean or powder form.
Benefits of coriander
Grains of coriander have an enviable reputation for supporting our health agents. In some parts of Europe, it is considered the traditional "anti-diabetic" plant, and in some parts of India, it is revered for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the U.S., thanks to recent studies, it is respected as a spice having cholesterol-lowering effect.
• Coriander is concentrated in phytonutrients.
Many of the above effects of coriander can be attributed to its exclusive fitonutrient content and it contains active phenolic acids.
• Coriander acts protective against Salmonella.
History and description of coriander
Coriander is also considered as a spice and herb since it’s seeds and leaves are used for adding extra flavor to dishes. Fresh leaves are known as silantro and have a very strong resemblance to the Italian seasoning parsley. But this is not surprising, since both are from the same plant species - Umbelliferae.
The name coriander comes from the Greek word koris, which literally means bug. Perhaps it deserves this name because of the smelly scent that it emmits when it is ripe. Its Latin name is Coriandrum sativum.
Coriander is a spice used since 5000 BC., making it one of the oldest used spices in the world. The home of coriander are considered to be regions in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, and in Asian countries, it has been known for thousands of years.
Today, countries producing coriander in commercial quantities are the Russian Federation, India, Morocco, and the Netherlands. The leaves of this plant called silantro are a leading spice in the culinary traditions of Latin America, India and China.
Selection and storage of coriander
• Fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) should look fresh and are dark green in color, with no trace of yellow or brown spots.
• When you have the opportunity buy whole beans, DO SO, as powder loses its scent faster.
• Beans and coriander powder should be stored in a glass jar, in a cool, dark, dry place.
• Cilantro can be frozen and then be used for soups.
• Add the coriander to soups and baked goods.