Coriander Facts

Coriander Facts
Coriander is a flowering plant that belongs to the parsley family (leaves of coriander and parsley have similar shape and size). Coriander originates from South Europe, North Africa and West Asia. Cultivation of coriander started 2000 years BC. Coriander was one of the many plants cultivated in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It was popular and often consumed in the ancient Egypt and Greece. Coriander is still one of the most widely used spices in the world. It grows best in cool areas on a well-drained soil. Coriander is mostly cultivated as a source of food. It can be also used as remedy because it contains numerous compounds that act beneficially on the human health.
Interesting Coriander Facts:
Coriander can reach 20 inches in height.
Size and shape of coriander leaves depend on their position on the stem. Fan-shaped, deeply lobed leaves can be seen at the base of the plant. Feathery leaves are typical for the flowering stalks.
Coriander develops miniature, asymmetrical flowers that are usually white or pale pink colored. Flowers are gathered in flat-topped inflorescence called umbel. Coriander blooms during the summer.
Coriander produces spherically-shaped dry schizocarp (type of fruit). Ripe fruit splits in half and releases two seed.
Even though all parts of coriander are edible, people usually consume leaves and seed.
Leaves of coriander (also known as cilantro in North and South America) have fresh, grassy, lemony taste, while seed have sweet, nutty, warm and orange-like flavor.
Some people dislike coriander and describe its taste as soupy. Medical studies revealed that genetic constitution of an individual determines whether person will like or dislike coriander. In other words, genes predispose our fondness to coriander.
Coriander is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins K, A and C and minerals such as magnesium, iron and potassium.
Coriander can be used fresh, dried or ground. Since heat destroys flavor of coriander, leaves are often added just before serving. They are used to enrich flavor of soups, salads, omelets and dishes made of rice, lamb or beans.
Coriander seed can be used whole or ground. They are often used for the preparation of dishes made of pork and lamb. Certain types of rye bread contain coriander seed.
Coriander contains phytochemicals that can delay spoilage of food.
Coriander is used as flavoring agent for some types of beer in Belgium.
Coriander can be used in treatment of digestive problems and for regulation of elevated blood sugar level in diabetics. Coriander is also used to alleviate painful joints and hemorrhoids.
Ancient Egyptians believed that coriander can be used as food in the afterlife. Ancient Greeks used coriander as a source of food and as an ingredient of perfumes.
Coriander is an annual plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in one year.

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