Coriander vector

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About coriander

Coriander – Coriandum sativum – is an annual herb in the celery family, whose seeds (which can also be ground) and leaves are used as a spice. Native to south-western Europe and the Mediterranean region. The plant has erect stems branched at the top (about 50 cm) and leaves divided into many narrow lobes. Small white or pink flowers are clustered in umbels. The ripe fruit is yellowish-brown, with a sweet and spicy taste and a strong, distinctive smell. Unripe seeds and fruit have an unpleasant odour.

The history of coriander dates back to time immemorial. It was cultivated in Persia as early as 3000 years ago and used to flavour the hanging gardens of Babylon. Coriander is even mentioned in the Bible, where the manna of heaven is referred to as “like coriander seeds, but white”. Coriander has become increasingly popular over time, both as a spice and as a medicine. To this day, coriander is used in India as a tonic and cough medicine. Coriander is also known as ‘kinza’ or Chinese parsley because of its resemblance to this plant. It is also known as kindzer in Armenia, kindzis in Georgia and kishnit in Azerbaijan.

In the Middle Ages, the Chinese believed that coriander could make a person immortal. Ancient Egyptians placed coriander in the tombs of pharaohs, and in Southeast Asia, coriander was known as a plant that aroused the senses. Coriander is also a great appetite stimulant.

The coriander peas that we are used to are only part of this extraordinary plant. Coriander is in the same family as parsley, but its leaves are paler, more wavy and have a completely different taste and aroma.

Fresh and dried coriander can be found in the cuisines of North America, Mexico, North Africa, India and South-East Asia, the Caucasus, and serves as one of the main ingredients in famous spice mixes such as curry, chilli, garam masala and berber.

In Eastern countries, especially in Indian cuisine, it is hard to imagine cooking without coriander.

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