Cilantro is the leafy, green portion of coriander, a plant whose seeds and roots are used to flavor food. Cilantro contains a natural chemical compound called aldehyde that can taste like soap to some people. To those who love cilantro it has a bright, breezy, fresh flavor that complements cuisines throughout Asia, and Central and South America. A member of the parsley family, the fresh, musky herb is most common in Asian and Mexican dishes, enhancing the flavor of Chinese soups and salads, and Mexican salsas.
The origin of cilantro is unknown but it is thought to be from the Mediterranean region and to have been used for at least 5,000 years. The seeds have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, perhaps because they were thought to be an aphrodisiac. More recently, coriander plants were found flourishing in Massachusetts by the early 1600s—one of the first herbs grown by American colonists.
A great source of vitamins and minerals, cilantro is a superfood with a small amount containing the full daily value of vitamin A and K. Cilantro is also rich in vitamin C, potassium, iron, calcium, manganese and more. Also, cilantro helps cleanse the body of toxic metals by supporting the body’s natural detoxification process.