Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chinese Parsley (Cilantro)

It never ceases to amaze me how little research is done into a plant. I can understand television series writers not taking the time to verify facts, it's fiction anyway and if you decide to pick a show apart it's your own fault for not wanting to enjoy the show.

On the other hand, when you are writing an informative piece on the use and history of a plant and entirely leave out a huge portion of the available information, not even hinting on it then you have really gotten yourself into a pickle. I mean seriously, you can use it in pickeling, it's not just for dill.

The chinese have used cilantro for who knows how long. The problem with most people is that they hear cilantro and instantly think about salsa or guacamole or some other favorite dish that includes this green leafy plant. This makes perfect sense since the very word cilantro is spanish and most of us don't speak a lick of chinese much less be able to recognize the word if we saw it.

The chinese use cilantro in soups and fish dishes. You probably haven't had it at your local chinese fast food take out place, at least not down here but these are usually americanized versions of the food anyway.

Chinese parsley can also be readily found at asian markets. and a lot cheaper than your big chain supermarkets. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't grow any though. Chinese parsley is a great plant to grow and it survives in some terrible conditions. I have it along my driveway where the worst heat of the day is.

2 comments:

meemsnyc said...

Chinese parsley is delicious in steamed fish.

Andrea said...

I had no idea that Cilantro was called chinese parsley! I always related it to mexican food, I am growing both in my garden, Santo Cilantro and Italian Parley FLat leaf. The latter is my favourite!
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