Coriander Seeds (pronounced “kaw-ree-an-dr"), Coriandrum sativum, is also called coriander seed, coriander spice, or cilantro seed.
Coriander Seeds have an essential oil of .2% - 2.0%.
What is Coriander Seed
Coriander is a spice produced from the coriander plant. This plant produces both the fruit, known as coriander seed, and the leaves, known as Cilantro . An individual coriander plant can only be cultivated for one of these, as the cilantro leaves must be picked before the plant matures to produce the seeds. The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds which, when dried, are the parts that are used as the spice. The shape of the coriander Seed is spherical to slightly oblong and ribbed when fully mature they are a brownish yellow color.
History of Coriander Seeds
Coriander is indigenous to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor (roughly modern day Turkey) and today grows in the wild of Egypt, England and Sudan. Coriander has been known in Asia and the Orient for thousands of years.
In Sanskrit literature coriander is referred to as "kusthumbari" or "dhanayaka" with references dating as far back as 5000 BC. When compared to other spices, Coriander was not a widely used spice in ancient times. In 1983 the oldest known coriander fruits were discovered in an archaeological dig in the Nahal Hemar cave in Israel which dates back to approximately 7600-6000 BC.
Coriander seeds were also found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, the boy who in 1332 BC at the age of 9 became ruler of Egypt until his death in 1323 BC at the ripe old age of 18. This discovery of Coriander Seeds has led food historians to speculate that the ancient Egyptians cultivated the plant.
Coriander was written about by Classic Greek and Latin authors including Hippocrates (460-370 BC), Aristophanes (446-386 BC), Columella (4-70 AD), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) and Dioscorides (40-90 AD). Each of them made references to the superb high quality of Egyptian grown Coriander.
The British are responsible for introducing coriander to the American colonies in 1670, and it was one of the first spices grown here.
Types of Coriander
There are two types of Coriander seeds typically found in the marketplace – European, sometimes called Moroccan Coriander, and Indian Coriander. In this country European Coriander Seeds are the more common of the two and are usually cultivated in Morocco or Canada.
The seeds of European Coriander are light brown in color with a round shape. Indian Coriander Seeds are more yellow in color, are more oval shaped, and have a stronger flavor profile with more noticeable citrus and nutty notes. Indian Coriander is a favorite spice of our micro brewer customers in making their Belgian wheat beers where it is used with Dried Orange Peel to enhance the citrus character in the beer.
The Coriander plant grows best in the cooler weather of spring (ideal temperature is between 50°-70°) and reaches a height of just under 2'. The lacy leaves are broadly lobed at the base of the plant and as the weather turns warmer, the plant sends up a long, lanky flower stalk bearing flat umbels of white or pinkish blossoms. The flowers are asymmetrical with the petals pointing away from the center of the umbel. The flowers mature into the fruit which is globular in shape and about 1/5" in diameter.
Depending on that year's weather patterns, Coriander is typically planted between January and March with harvesting taking place between the middle of May and the middle of June. Coriander is ready for harvest in 90 to 110 days after planting depending upon that year's growing season and the particular variety. The fruits are fully ripe when their color changes from green to brown at which time then seed is to be harvested, threshed, cleaned, and dried. Threshing is the process of removing dry seed heads from the plant by rubbing or crushing and breaking up and discarding the remaining plant materials (the stems and leaves). The seed is then cleaned (separated from debris such as dirt, small stones, weed seeds, sticks and leaves) using various seed cleaning screens with different mesh sizes. The fruits are then dried in partial shade.
In Morocco Coriander is considered a small farm crop because it produces smaller yields which the larger industrial farms shy away from.
The world's leading commercial producers of Coriander are Canada, Morocco, India, Pakistan, Bulgaria and Romania.
Where is Our Coriander From
Depending on the time of year and availability either Canada or Morocco.
What does Coriander Taste Like
Mellow, sweet and warm with citrusy undertones. Coriander's flavor can be enhanced by lightly dry roasting the whole seed.
How do You Use Coriander
Because of its mild flavor cooks tend to use Coriander in larger amounts than other spices. In the US, Coriander Seed is a primary ingredient in pickled vegetables. It is only used in whole form to pickle. To use it as a savory addition, it is ground and added to dry rubs for barbecue, and it’s recommended to add it in a 2:1 ratio with other spices in a rub, like chili powders or cumin. In Germany and South Africa coriander seeds are used to make sausage. In Central Europe and Russia, coriander seed is sometimes used as a substitute for Caraway Seed when baking rye bread. Because it has such a versatile flavor profile, it is also found in sweets. It’s indispensable in spice cakes, and adds a delicious aromatic element to stewed fruits, either in an apple compote or with braised pears. We have Ground Coriander if you prefer that we take care of it for you.
Coriander is good with apples, chicken, chili, citrus fruits, fish, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, soups and stews.
Coriander works well in combination with allspice, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, garlic and ginger.
Some of our favorite recipes with Coriander include Flat Iron Steak, Vegetable Jalfrezi, and Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs).
What is a Substitute for Coriander
The key to finding a suitable substitution for Coriander is understanding the distinctive flavors that Coriander adds to a particular recipe. Coriander is used in numerous Indian and Mexican dishes and provides a warm earthiness along with some citrusy undertones.
Cumin has a somewhat similar earthy flavor but is much more potent that Coriander. If using Cumin as the substitute we recommend using about half as much as the recipe calls for of Coriander. For replacing the citrusy notes we like to use Dried Orange Peel (a little more than half the amount called for of Coriander). These substitutions work better when working with chicken or sauces and not so much with fruit chutneys, desserts or baked goods.
|Also Called||Coriander seed, coriander spice, or cilantro seed|
|Recommended Uses||Use to flavor bread, chicken, Chili, dry rubs, fish, pickled vegetables, potatoes, sausage, soups, and stews|
|Flavor Profile||Mellow, sweet and warm with citrusy undertones|
|Oil Content||.2% - 2.0%|
|Botanical Name||Coriandrum sativum|
|Cuisine||Asian, Latin American, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||6-12 months|
|Country of Origin||Canada or Morocco|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*