General Description

Coriander is the seed of Coriandrum sativum, a plant in the parsley family. The seed is globular and almost round, brown to yellow red, and 1/5 inch in diameter with alternating straight and wavy ridges.

Geographical Sources

Coriander comes from Canada and the United States

Traditional Ethnic Uses

Coriander is used in Indian curries, gin, American cigarettes, and sausages.

Taste and Aroma Description

Coriander has a mild, distinctive taste similar to a blend of lemon and sage.

History/Region of Origin

Coriander is probably one of the first spices used by mankind, having been known as early as 5000 BC. Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 BC also spoke of it. In the Old Testament "manna" is described as "white like Coriander Seed." (Exodus 16:31) The Romans spread it throughout Europe and it was one of the first spices to arrive in America.

Storage Tips

Store in cool, dark, dry places.

A Few Ideas to Get You Started

Coriander is not interchangeable with cilantro, although they are from the same plant. Ground Coriander seed is traditional in desserts and sweet pastries as well as in curries, meat, and seafood dishes with South American, Indian, Mediterranean, and African origins. Add it to stews and marinades for a Mediterranean flavor.