Cilantro vs Coriander
Plants and animals are differently named in different regions. Therefore to have uniformity in identification, scientists introduced binomial nomenclature, which is composed of two Latin names, and recognized all over the world. Cilantro and Coriander are different names used for different parts of the same plant. Scientifically it has been named as Coriandrum sativum, which belongs to the family Apiaceae. The plant Coriandrum sativum is native to Mediterranean region, and it is grown in Bangladesh, India, Russia, Central Europe, and Morocco. Different regions of the world such as Latin America, Spain, China, Russia, and India are using this plant as food, and different countries grow the plant for commercializing. In some regions, it has been recognized as Chinese parsley. In the 3rd century BC, Romans have used Coriander seeds to season many food items. This plant is an annual herb, and every part of the plant is edible. It grows to 20-25 cm in height with thin stem. Leaves are arranged in an alternative manner and compound. The petiole with two stipules is a sheath at the stem base. The stem and leaves both have a pleasant aromatic smell due to the essential oil available in the plant. The amount of essential oil differs with the source of fruit. The Russian Coriander seed has the highest amount of oil. Both seed and leaves lose its aroma when it gets dry. This plant has various medicinal values including antibacterial, antioxidant properties. Leaves and seeds of the Coriandrum sativum have different tastes and cannot be substituted. The entire young plant is used for flavoring curries, soups, souses and chutneys.
Although Cilantro and Coriander are the same words for the same plant, Cilantro is the Spanish word for Coriandrum sativum leaves. Tender, green leaves of the coriander have a distinct taste like soapy or herby taste, which can be distinguished from the seed taste. It loses its aroma quickly, when dried or after leaves are removed from the plant. In South Asian foods such as Chinese, Indian and in Mexican cooking fresh coriander leave is an important ingredient.
The dried form of the seed of Coriandrum sativum is often called as coriander. It is used as spice in ground form and has an aromatic flavor due to terpenes, linalool and pinene. The seeds can be used in curries as seed itself or in ground form after roasting in a pan, to enhance the flavor.
What is the difference between Coriander and Cilantro?
• Leave of the Coriandrum sativum is called Cilantro, whereas the seed is called Coriander.
• Leaves of the coriander have a distinct taste like soapy or herby taste, which can be distinguished from the seed taste.
• Cilantro is green in color, whereas Coriander is brown.
• The taste and smell of the leaves is pungent, but seeds have spicy aroma with lemony taste.
• Cilantro is used as fresh leaves, while dried seeds are used in seasoning food items.