Country of Origin – Spain
Flavour/Aroma – Floral, slightly sweet with clean citrus notes
Chilli heat – None but cloves provides a gentle warming
Ingredients – 100% whole coriander seeds. Despite the similar name, Cilantro should not be confused with Culantro, often referred to as Mexican Coriander
Uses in Mexican cooking – flavouring chorizo as well as in soups and stews, bread, cakes and desserts. Cooks add chopped leaves to salsas and sprinkle them over finished dishes.
Uses in Fiesta Manana recipe kits
The seeds derive from the annual plant Coriandrum sativum, that is part of the parsley family. It grows across Southern Europe, Northern Africa and Southwest Asia. It should not be confused with Culantro is from a different species Eryngium foetidum and as a result the two are not interchangeable in recipes.
Archaeological finds show humans consumed the seeds thousands of years ago, . Coriander is mentioned in the Bible It was named Koris by the Greeks, surprisingly naming it after a stink bug given its glorious aroma. It quickly became part of the cooks arsenal because of its unmistakeable floral and lemon essences. Furthermore, it marries well with other spices and became a staple in pickling blends, a vital way of preserving food before refrigeration, freezing and canning. Its use undoubtedly spread across Europe as a result of Roman conquest. After the fall of the Roman empire it gradually fell out of use in most of Europe, however it remained popular in Spain. Without a doubt the Spanish Conquistadors brought it with them during the conquest against the Aztecs. Consequently this distinct flavour passed into Mexican cookery.
Health and nutrition
Essential oils – Coriander seed oil is not surprisingly the name of this oil, it is this that produces its distinctive aroma
Health benefits – Coriander provides a range of scientifically proven benefits
1 – It is rich in antioxidants and works as an anti-inflammatory. One study showed it slowed the growth of cancer cells [source]
2 – It reduces blood sugar by promoting enzyme activity [source]