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Information for Cilantro

Cilantro, a robust annual herb that is part of the Coriandrum sativum species, is also known as coriander. Actually, Cilantro refers to the leaves of the smooth and glabrous (non-hairy) coriander plant. The coriander plant traces its origins back in southern Europe, North Africa, and southwestern Asia. Other common names of Cilantro include Chinese parsley and dhania.

The leaves of Cilantro are roughly lobed but tend to thin and feather on its herbaceous stems. Its gibbous blooms are colored light pink or dull white and accompanied by spherical fruits. Fresh Cilantro leaves are often used as a seasoning in countless international dishes. They are best used to enhance the flavors of salad dressings, pasta sauces, salsas, and meat and seafood dishes.

Even though Cilantro is mostly associated with Southeast Asian and Mexican foods, it is also widely used in Italian cooking. Well-known dishes include Italian meatballs and Cilantro pesto. Cilantro works well with lots of dishes while adding delicious touches to garnishes and marinades. In cooking, Cilantro is normally added at the end so as not to lose its savory and strong flavors.

Photo Credit: Michael_Lehet
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