CILANTRO, OUR HERB OUR FLAVOR
Cilantro/Culantro do not cook well so they should be consumed raw or added at the last moment to any cooked dish. The leaves, seeds and roots have different applications; the chopped leaves are the main flavoring agent; the root has a similar, but milder, taste appropiate for grating into a sauce or spice paste; the seeds have an anise like sweet flavor and are better used in spices mixes or desserts.
Cilantro/Culantro are very easy to grow from seed, just spray the seeds over some loose soil and cover them with some more soil to avoid birds picking them. Keep the soil moist and you soon will see something sprouting; in a month you will start harvesting leaves. Culantro even grows wild in humid locations, very often you will find it around your garden or in the plants you buy from a nursery.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Coriandrum sativum (cilantro), Eryngium foetidum (culantro)
ENGLISH NAME: Coriander, Cilantro, Culantro
LOCAL NAMES: Cilantro, Culantro, Recao (Culantro), Coentro (Brasil, cilantro), Coentro-bravo (Brasil, culantro)
NUTRIENTS: Cilantro/Culantro are a very potent cocktail of vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants, so its regular consumption is good for you. Medical studies in Japan have shown that regular consumption of Cilantro/Culantro helps the body excrete heavy metals such as mercury. For a more detailed analysis of nutrients follow this link: Cilantro's nutrients
PROCESSING: Cilantro/Culantro are used after finely cutting them with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. The root is better processed by grating it with a lemon zester. The seeds should be coarsely crushed using a mortar.
STORING: Cilantro/Culantro dehydrate very quickly once they are harvested. If you have them in your garden pick only what you are about to use. If you must keep them in the refrigerator place them in a sealed bag with a little water for moisture.