Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Cilantro / Coriander: a classic herb in Mexican cooking as well as Italian and other cuisines
Thought to have been introduced to Britain by the Romans as a meat preserver, coriander seems to have been cultivated in Greece since at least the second millennium BC. In Linear B tablets, the species is referred to as being cultivated for the manufacture of perfumes, and it appears that it was used in two forms: as a spice for its seeds and as a herb for the flavour of its leaves.
Coriander seed and leaf was very widely used in medieval European cuisine, due to its ability to make spoiled meats palatable by "masking" rotten flavours. Even today, coriander seed is an important ingredient in many sausage products.
Coriander was brought to the British colonies in North America in 1670 and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers, says Wikipedia.