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Coriander and Cilantro - What's the Difference?

Updated on July 17, 2015
The plant above is known as coriander to some people and cilantro to others.
The plant above is known as coriander to some people and cilantro to others.

Are Coriander and Cilantro Two Different Things?

What is coriander and cilantro? Are they the same or two totally different things?

The short answer is: It depends on where you are. They mean the same things in some countries, while others treat them as two completely different components.

It is quite amazing that although people in the UK and the USA allegedly speak the same language, there are a great many discrepancies to be found. Whether this applies to the spelling of certain words and/or sometimes even in the specific words employed to convey a particular meaning. Consequently, confusion can often reign supreme and lead to damaging — if not in fact offensive — misunderstandings.

We have here stumbled upon a prime example in the words coriander and cilantro.

Origins of the Words Coriander and Cilantro

Do you maybe even know it by another name altogether?

  • The Latin name for the herb in question is Coriandrum sativum. So, as you can easily see, this is where the word "coriander" is derived from.
  • In turn, the word "cilantro" is the Spanish translation of this word (coriander).

The Meaning of Coriander and Cilantro by Country

Coriander seeds (UK) or just coriander (US).
Coriander seeds (UK) or just coriander (US).
In the United Kingdom
In the United States
In India
Here, we would refer to the leaves and stalks of the plant as "coriander" while the the seeds are called "coriander seeds." Basically, the word "cilantro" does not exist in the UK.
In the US, the leaves and stalks of the plant are referred to as "cilantro," while the seeds are referred to as "coriander."
In India, the herb is extremely popular in cooking, it is referred to as something different-sounding altogether — "dhania" (just to further confuse the issue!)
Mutton curry with fragrant rice. Coriander/cilantro is a very popular item used in Indian cuisines.
Mutton curry with fragrant rice. Coriander/cilantro is a very popular item used in Indian cuisines.

Confused? Hardly Surprising!

Just be careful the next time you follow a recipe that calls for coriander. You now know that some may be referring to the seed, while others may be calling for the green stalks and leaves of the plant. Determining the country origin of the recipe may help.

I must admit that the first time I came across the word "cilantro" was only around 2005, while watching an American program on a UK food channel. I recall thinking that it looked vaguely like coriander, but thought it must be a cousin of the plant instead. Or, perhaps it was something that was native only to the United States. Fortunately, I did have access to Google by that time!

I am certain, however, that on both sides of the Atlantic, there must be people — particularly of more senior years — using cookbooks written by folks on the opposite side of "the pond," and scratching their heads in wonder. Britons may wonder what on Earth "cilantro" is, while Americans are sure to concern themselves with why "coriander" looks so strange in the photograph accompanying the text.

I sincerely hope that this article has helped achieve my goal in clearing up this mystery for you!

British and American English Food Terms

Do you need help converting or translating between the two?

  • There are many foodstuffs known by different names on opposite sides of the pond.
  • Similarly, the measurement systems employed in the UK and the US are different as well, which can cause all sorts of disasters when following a recipe written on the other side of the Atlantic.

Another article that I've written will provide handy conversion tables for following recipes and then some. There, you can also learn about why the measurement systems used in the UK and the US are so different, have access to said handy conversion tables, and read about a historic explanation of the discrepancies.

Coriander or Cilantro, the Taste Remains the Same

Cilantro Secrets (Cook West)
Cilantro Secrets (Cook West)

Need some great ideas for incorporating this delicious herb into your cooking? Here is a very affordable guide to all that we could ever wish to know about this tasty and versatile herb — whatever you choose to call it!

 

Thank you for your visit to this site and your time spent looking through it. I very much hope that you can spare just another few moments to give me your overall impressions in the space below.

Did you already know about the coriander/cilantro discrepancy? Have you ever been confused by inconsistent references to the two? Let me know your thoughts!

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    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      When I first moved to the US it took me months to work out what the 'other' name for coriander was! Another example of confusion over herbs is the word basil - a problem of how to pronounce it........

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 8 years ago

      I've always said cilantro for the leaves, and coriander for the seeds. I was pretty sure that was the right way, but it gets confusing when you hear people say coriander, and they're referring to the herb. Now I know why!

      It's funny how different things can be between the US and the UK. A friend in India once told me that if you're going the the US you should remember: "Biscuits = Cookies, and unless you bring your own Tea = Yuck"

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 8 years ago from Michigan

      Ground corriander is a favorite spice; one of the spices that makes Indian cookery the most aromatic on the planet. 5-starring, favoriting and rolling this one to laftovers.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I used to be confused by that, but not anymore. Of course, when I go to a pho restaurant, the "coriander/cilantro" looks completely different!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      No one ever believed me! yes the Coriander usually is used in seed form and Cilantro in leaf form...I love using both, and sneak it into food when possible, only because hubby doesn't like it...and he is Puerto Rican!!

    • WorldVisionary3 profile image

      WorldVisionary3 5 years ago

      I've always wondered what the difference is - thanks for putting together this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You are wrong! Yes it's from the same plant but Cilantro are the leaves (herb) and coriander are the seeds (spice)

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      @anonymous: HI, RJohnson

      Thanks for the visit and the comment but you clearly did not read the page.

      Cilantro is a Spanish word - it does not exist in English. The first few paragraphs of this page explain the situation quite concisely.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks! That cleared up the mystery perfectly! - a confused Brit! : )

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well, just sit me down, and yes, I've been confused for too long!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Agreed. This is the easiest way to distinguish between the two; the plant itself, I believe, is coriander.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My goodness! I always thought that "coriander" was some exotic herb. I am from the south-western part of the United States and am quite familiar with "cilantro" which I'm not a huge fan of. Thank you for clearing this up for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for clearing out some of the confusion. Also, you may want to know that I searched for Cilantro which is one of the herbs that will flush your system of mercury. So if your body has mercury then eating this herb Coriander or Cilantro would remove it via the kidneys.

      Many people in the world have mercury fillings, so eat this to remove any mercury that seeps into your body. Mercury is the most posionous of all things second to plutonium.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/MercurySafe#p/f/7/XU8nSn5Ezd8

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      coiander is the seed of a cilantro plant. they are not the same thing

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      @anonymous: Hook, thanks for taking the time to visit and comment. Unfortunately, however, I don't think you actually read the information contained on this page....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I typed Cilantro into wikipedia to find out what it is and it took me to the Coriander page... whaaaa?

      oh they are the same thing... gah!

      -ex-confused Australian

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: that's American nomenclature! I'd never heard the word cilantro before.

      read the article next time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      if there is a difference then its because we also have a big influence of Spanish in our country and cilantro is used in many mexican/tex-mex and spanish dishes (at least here in the US)...but there's always going to be different names for different things...our country has such a wide variety of cultures influenced in it that going from one part to another can be confusing even for the in-stater.

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      Yes, In Austria I looked everywhere for cilantro and finally someone told me that coriander was the same, except it was just the seeds and not the leafy plant.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I'll take credit for that. I merged the cilantro Wiki page into the coriander page ;)

    • karlawhitmore profile image

      Karla Whitmore 4 years ago from Arizona

      I use coriander (the seeds) on my corned beef roasts, and cilantro in Mexican dishes and salads. I have even used it in place of lettuce on a sandwich (YUM) I love cilantro - er... coriander.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for this article! I just migrated to Australia last week and I wanted to make some rice that called for lime and cilantro. I couldn't find cilantro anywhere in the shops. Now I know what to look for!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 4 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      I thought this is the same. I only use the seeds, so basically I was right... Thanks for clearing this out:-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      How about they do not taste the same at all, I like cilantro leaves but the coriander was awful tasting. That is why I was confused as to why they say they are the same. Don't taste nothing alike at all.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      In Spain as well as in Latin america there are two COMPLETELY different species of plants that are both referred to as coriander, In Castilian there are three exchangeable words for coriander: "coriandro" , "culantro" and "cilantro". And these two plants are both equally called with these three names only differentiated by calling one of them (the one that is being talk about here, the one that resembles in appearance flat leaf parsley) "coriandro Castilla" / "culantro Castilla" / "cilantro Castilla" and the other one is known as "coriandro coyote" / "culantro coyote" / "cilantro coyote" -- which translates as Coriander Castile (Castile is a place in Spain) and coriander coyote (like the animal I guess) respectively. Both in Spain and at least south america that I am sure know that when cooking "coriandro Castilla" is to be used for decoration and for a milder flavour while "coriandro coyote" should only be used for cooking and not decoration since it basically looks like a bigger and harsher dandelion leaf, it's flavour is exactly like the one of the former one only that it is much more intense and the centre ridge of the leaf which is usually disposed of due to its toughness is used for broths and flavouring much like you'd use a bay leaf in that you would always take it out at the end.

      Finally, the seeds of "coriandro coyote" don't resemble those of "coriandro Castilla" they are much smaller and not used for cooking that I'm aware of. BTW "coriandro castilla" 's seeds, the ones everyone know as coriander seeds are merely called seeds of coriander, there is no need for specification probably since only the ones of that variety are used for cooking.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree with you 100%! I love cilantro leaves but do not like coriander seeds (horrible). I made a recipe calling for that & I thought that since I like cilantro, I would like that too,NO!!!! And I went out of my way to buy it, too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      brill thanks I had a feeling it was just coriander by another name but im very glad you have confirmed my thoughts, thank you again :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Ha ha, thanks for saving me time and frustration!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      I like fresh cilantro, and it's very easy to find and even grow here in Los Angeles.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      watching US cooking show and they seem to use loads of Cilantro - i was forced to find out what this was as i never came across it - now i get it!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was making a custom lotion blend for a woman who loves the scent of cilantro - try as I did I could never find cilantro essential oil! Coriander seed essential oil is freely available. thanks! Now I can fill the order and satisfy client.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We always called it culantro, most stores in florida label it cilantro/culantro. It adds a fresh taste to salads, mixed vegtables and salsas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I grew up in California. We call it cilantro and I think it is from the Latino influence there. Moved to New England and it is coriander or cilantro. In Florida it is cilantro. I love it and use it with many Mexican dishes and others. I love putting it in eggs, on chicken and fish dishes. I even eat the leaves by themselves at times. I can't believe there is a group on Facebook that hates it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I understand that, I love cilantro too. But recently I read that some people believe that there is a genetic predisposition to either like or dislike it. Who knows, could be.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Cilantro and culantro are different species of plants; the flavors are similar enough that the two are often confused, though. It's kind of like anise vs star anise.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It's the same darn thing! Here in Texas, it's cilantro. Coriander is the seeds. Lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It's the same darn thing! In Texas, we call it cilantro. Use it in almost everything, like with jalepenos. In England y'all call them chillies; there's only one 'L' in that word. Lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Marc...Your comment was interesting. Cilantro and culantro are different but truly taste similar. Cilantro/coriander is the curly leaf. Culantro is a long leaf and has tiny serrated edges. I also live in Florida. Check Publix and you will find both in the veggie department. Culantro usually comes in a plastic bag/envelope that you will find on the wall. Cilantro is usually found in the fresh herb bins underneath. How did I learn this? From my Puerto Rican M-I-L.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I know that Coriander are the seeds & Cilantro is the stalks & leaves. Either way... I dislike them both. You either love it or hate it... so I guess I'm classified as a "hater".

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It is cilantro in the areas that have significant Latino immigration as it figures prominently in Latin American dishes. Traditional American cooking does not use coriander leaves. Latin American immigration brought the leaves into use. In New England, and areas without prominent Latino immigration it is still known as coriander. Remember close to 20% of the USA is Latino/Hispanic and they are concentrated primarily in the Southern areas.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      @anonymous: Hi and thanks. Good to know.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hmmm... I live in California where, probably due to South American influences I love the herb known here as cilantro. I eventually figured out the seed, both whole and ground, is called coriander. I think half of the population says it tastes more like soap and some I've met are severely allergic to it! So sad for them. And... I didn't notice anyone else confusing the issue with this, it's also known as Chinese Parsley in some dishes ( maybe mostly Thai).

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yeah - I had to look up what the hell Cilantro was. I'd never heard of it? Good onya Brits ... it's Coriander. Trust the yanks to call it something insane.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      For fish cakes

      500g white fish fillets

      1/2 red capsicum, chopped

      2 long red chillies, chopped (deseeded if desired)

      2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

      3 spring onions, finely chopped

      2 cloves garlic, chopped

      1 stalk lemongrass, tender part only, chopped

      1 tbsp fish sauce, optional

      1/4 cup coconut milk

      1 egg

      Vegetable oil for frying

      Ask for cilantro here and all you'll get is a puzzled look

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 4 years ago

      I didn't know this. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Haha! I was going crazy looking for cilantro and coming up empty after moving to the UK last year. I would ask in all the produce departments only to be looked at like I had a schwantz growing out of my forehead. Only when I had a dish in London last week did I ask the waiter "where on earth did you find this cilantro?!?" He looked at me all crazy-like and said, "My good sir, that is corriander." Eureka!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      moved to canada from australia, took me 2 years to figure out they're the same thing

    • profile image

      mistaben 4 years ago

      No difference! Thanks for the lens. I thought it was interesting.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 3 years ago from Diamondhead

      I just planted some in my garden yesterday. I have lived on all ends of the US and depending upon the cultural influence we use both names.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 3 years ago

      I have a food blog so I have become aware of some of the differences like this and usually use the US term in brackets next to the British English one.

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 3 years ago

      A very interesting lens. Thank you for taking the time to explain the differences between cilantro and coriander.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 3 years ago

      My son and I just looked this up the other day. I kept thinking it was Spanish parsley not coriander so I was set straight again. I don't use it much so all is well. lol Thank goodness we have Google to translate the metric from yummy European dishes (oh yes, and those from you Brits! ;-) )

    • ebookmum profile image

      ebookmum 3 years ago

      Oh thanks for that :) I did wonder what cilantro was, and thought it looked like parsley, so now I will know to use coriander in any American recipes I try in future :)

    • joanzueway profile image

      joanzueway 3 years ago

      Thank you for this wonderful lens

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      This is really helpful, I didn't know this. Thank you!

    • AnonymousC831 profile image

      AnonymousC831 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Great lens.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      I actually knew the difference, but it was great to pop in and read your excellent information. Great lens.

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Your lens was featured on our "What's Cooking at Squidoo" Google+ page. Come check it out!

      https://plus.google.com/106731555139009429707/post...

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      Great yummy lens! To quote Oscar Wilde (The Canterville Ghost) We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.

    • WhiteIsland profile image

      WhiteIsland 3 years ago

      Interesting. I, of course, knew the American terminology, but I didn't know people of the UK referred to it as coriander and coriander seed. I'm sure this will help me avoid confusion whenever I do come across the term in an unfamiliar recipe. :)

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 3 years ago from New York

      In Hawaii, because of the Chinese influence, we use to call it Chinese Parsley (jyun seoi ) when we are cooking Chinese food. Now because of the Mexican influence it is called "cilantro". The seeds to me have always been coriander.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I have a friend from Australia who's always confusing me. For example, bell peppers are called Capsicum in Australian English and that's just the tip of the icerberg. Interesting though.

    • mistyriver profile image

      mistyriver 3 years ago

      I love cilantro or whatever it's called! One thing that confuses me is the differences in measurements between countries. Sometimes I come across recipes on Pinterest that look good, but I'm not sure how much to use.

    • profile image

      phoward-dilling 3 years ago

      Thanks for this article. I thought I knew the difference but I came across a cookbook that used both terms to refer to the same plant and confusion ensued. Know I am certain that they are the same.

      Also, in the U.S. CBS is currently airing Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals on the weekend and they show the differences for U.S. viewers.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Having been raised in the Southwest U.S. it's cilantro to me but whatever you call it, it's yummy!

    • SuperBusyMama profile image

      Amanda R 2 years ago

      Wow, I did not know this! Thanks for the helpful information!

    • profile image

      floridamama 2 years ago

      Great to know! I am American, living in FL so I have a ton of Latin American influences around me and next time I run across a recipe from over the pond, I will be sure to double check that ingredient. BTW... what is "Great lens?" Lol A lens to me is a piece of glass that bends light to help a view see clearly. Is that the parallel?

    • nicenet profile image

      nicey 2 years ago

      It looks really good and healthy. Thanks

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 2 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      @floridamama: I'm not 100% sure of the origins of the word lens in this instance floridamama but you may well be right :)

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      parker-king 2 years ago

      Awesome , I like this informations , Thanks .

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      armeniancook 22 months ago

      In Egypt, coriander is called "kouzbara".

      The green leaves are called "kouzbara khadra", meaning - green cilantro.

      The dry seeds (coriander) are used to complement the typical Egyptian green soup (molokheya). They are stir fried with garlic for a couple of minutes before adding them to the green soup.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 22 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you armeniancook. That's another name I wasn't aware of.

    • profile image

      armeniancook 22 months ago

      It is claimed that it has 'female' aphrodisiac properties (and some male, too!), particularly if stir fried with a couple of garlic cloves. Tried and tested by some, but still controversial! Wanna try and feed me back?

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 20 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      I'll take your word for it armenian cook - thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      Giorgio 20 months ago

      Cilantro or coriander...it just tastes like SOAP in my mouth!

      Absolutely unbearable!

      And I dislike cumin, too...

      now you know why I don't really like Indian cuisine! LOL

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 20 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Maybe you're adding to much, Giorgio? Yes, it has a pretty powerful taste but maybe if you reduced the quantities of cilantro/coriander and cumin in your dishes, you could discover a whole new world of food? :)

    • profile image

      Heather 20 months ago

      Thank you for your interesting article. I was looking for a different guacamole recipe, as I was tired of same old same old. The recipe I liked has "cilantro" in it and I was back footed. Now up with the play.

      As an aside; I added the guacamole to some diced lobster meat, mixed together, then used as a topping on small crostini for pre dinner nibbles - very tasty (and easy).

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 20 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Heather. Glad the article was useful to you. Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious and is definitely something I would enjoy.

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      Dor 19 months ago

      Thank for letting me know the difference between the language of this wonderful herb, so if i'm in england i would call it ''coriander''which is the Latin word, and if i'm in USA it is'' cilantro ''/ coriander thank so much.

    • profile image

      armeniancook 19 months ago

      Coriander is also added to Egyptian 'felafel', which consists of coarsely ground fava beans (to maintain the crunchiness) mixed with coarsely chopped herbs (dill, parsley, etc.) shaped like small patties and lightly fried in oil. Delicious!

    • dandelionweeds profile image

      dandelionweeds 18 months ago from Canada

      Great info! I use this coriander that I got from an Indian store. I think coriander and cumin are the same.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 18 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Glad it's useful for you, dandelionweeds but coriander and cumin are very different.

    • profile image

      armeniancook 16 months ago

      No difference! It's the same ... use the name you like most!

    • profile image

      HB 16 months ago

      Thanks for that. Loved the taste of cilantro when in California, but didn't know why I couldn't find when I got home. Now I know! Good old google!

    • profile image

      Avonov 15 months ago

      I learned a great deal from this discussion. Thanks to everyone.

      There is one additional factor that I don't believe was addressed. I just finished a week-long course in Thai cooking. They use coriander seeds and cilantro. But... there's more.

      At least in my class, one of the most frequent ingredients was known as the coriander root. If you google it, you will find a ton of pictures. They actually use the root and an inch or so of the green stalk.

    • profile image

      Sue from SC 13 months ago

      I did not know the difference until now. Thank You very much for the information. My favorite thing in the world is fresh Salsa w/ Cilantro! ( not coriander seed ) :)

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      Earth Citizen 12 months ago

      Never heard of Cilantro until today, Googled it and came to this informative page. Kudos to the author. It is Dhania as it is used extensively on the Indian Subcontinent. All three terms refer to all parts of the plant. Both the seed and leaves are used extensively in Indian cooking. Personally I prefer the leaves, but will also use the stem, in the interests of not wasting the plant. Will only use crushed seed as a last resort if the fresh plant is not available.

      As to its use, my other half and I disagree. She thinks it should be added to dish at the very end, while I prefer to add it a little while earlier so it can release its aroma into the food, and then add a little at the end for that fresh look.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 12 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you Earth Citizen for your comments. I'm glad you found the page informative. I agree with you in that I like to add it a little bit earlier with some more to garnish.

    • profile image

      janet 11 months ago

      looking for something inspiring to cook??? what is cilantro...will you have certainly increase my vocab! excellent

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 11 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Janet. I hope you are inspired to use this delicious herb in some tasty recipes soon.

    • profile image

      grumpy-old-meat-and-3veg 11 months ago

      watching tv cooking shows, the werd cilantro is used every second dish? i had to find out what it was?

      looked like one of them green garnish things you throw off the plate?

      i was right :D

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 11 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Well, while it is often used as a garnish, it is a very tasty addition to many meals, especially spicy dishes or curries. Hope you can find it in yourself to give it a try!

    • profile image

      Fain 11 months ago

      I have found a very big difference between the two. What is called in Texas cilantro is a dark green leaf that looks a bit like parsley and has a very strong taste - it is used extensively in salsa, guacamole and salads. But the brown herb powder called coriander and coriander seeds is really quite mild in flavor.

    • profile image

      Steph 11 months ago

      wow I wish I knew this before going to the grocery store & searching forever for "coriander leaves" even the employees didnt know what it is, now I can't make the one recipe that calls for it until I can go back to the store ugh

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
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      Gordon N Hamilton 10 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      There's definitely a lot of confusion caused by this discrepancy, Steph. At least you can now go ahead and prepare your recipe :)

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      Bakul 9 months ago

      No need to confuse with the Indian name 'dhaniya' because it's a word from Hindi language. It's used both for the seeds and the leaves. But if you are an English speaker in India, ask for coriander in a shop if you need any of these two! :)

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      Bobby Hartfield 8 months ago

      No offense to you Brits, but coriander and cilantro are not the same thing. Here in the UK, fresh coriander is dull with no aroma when you smell it. In Mexico and the US, cilantro has an absolutely mesmerizing aroma. When you chop fresh cilantro, the kitchen smells wonderful. When you bring the tortilla chip loaded with pico to your mouth, your nose wants to jump in. Coriander is so boring you might as well use lawn clippings.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
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      Gordon N Hamilton 7 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Sorry, Bobby - it is exactly the same thing, I can assure you. You must be buying it when it's passed its best. Try shopping elsewhere or growing it at home :)

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      Gary Peterson 6 months ago

      Thanks, Gordon.

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      Cedric Hansen 6 months ago

      Thanks for clearing the confusion surrounding an excellent plant used so much in cooking the world over. I hail from South Africa and was quite familiar with the term, "coriander seeds" and "coriander leaves" the former a spice and the latter a herb. Because there is quite a large Indian community in our country we are also familiar with the term, "dhania" which is commonly sold in local Indian spice shops and explained by them as coriander leaves to anyone unfamiliar with the term. Some previous comments seem to indicate that the coriander seeds have less flavour than the leaves of the the same plant however, if the seeds are roasted and dehusked, well, the amazing flavour and aroma is through the roof!!

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      Thomas 6 months ago

      Wow, all these people commenting that clearly haven't read your article or are too stupid to understand must be annoying...

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
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      Gordon N Hamilton 5 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you very much for the in depth comment Cedric and I'm glad you think the article helps clear up the confusion. I agree with you that while very different, coriander seeds and leaves have equal places in cooking.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
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      Gordon N Hamilton 5 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Thomas. It is a fact that some people don't read a whole piece or have a different understanding of it. One of the risks you take by writing and inviting comments :)

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      Wendy Watson 5 months ago

      I think the leaves and stalks taste like soap; and the seeds have a lovely sweet aromatic flavor. My 2 cents!

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      loes 5 months ago

      In my language (Dutch) coriander (koriander to be precise) is the word used for both the leaves and the seeds. Also the Indonesian word ketumbar is often used for ground koriander seeds. Confusing? Only if you don't know.

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      tommo 5 months ago

      Work of art-icle!

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      Chinara Sharshenova 4 months ago

      Thank you Gordon!

      Finally a proper answer! No more confusion!

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      Mimo 4 months ago

      Hey, thanks for the information. I'm an Indian and I find Americans very confusing in general. By the way, in my homeland, we use "coriander" to refer the leaves and "coriander seed" to refer the seeds just like the British.

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      David Smith 3 months ago

      A very interesting article which once and for all confirmed my thoughts that 'cilantro' was indeed coriander, though I wasn't aware this was the Spanish spelling of coriander.

      Well done.

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      graziella cruz 3 months ago

      i was told that coriander is kinchay and cilantro is wansuy. now i'm more confused than ever

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      Robid 3 months ago

      Thank you for the post! I feel much more informed and will take this into account when there is confusion about the subject matter! Also, there seem to be a few varieties of these plants. I have seen some that have very purple stems that are extremely pungent and flavorful, some that are bright green all over and have huge leaves but are very mild and some (Mexican variety) that are very dark green but have small leaflets as opposed to real leaves. I really like the purplish stuff but i have only seen it at a vietnamese restaraunt in Houston. It reminded me of holy basil as opposed to the garden variety i find in most stores. It must take diligence to grow the quality of basil and cilantro/coriander that turns purple and obviously seems to be more nutritious and flavorful!!!

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      Nelson 3 months ago

      Eventhough Cilantro is the Spanish translation of Coriander in some coutries (such as Mexico) in some other countries (like Costa Rica) the herb is called Culantro.

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      Cristina Guerreiro 2 months ago

      Thank you so much! Excelent explanation!

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      rita 2 months ago

      your page is very interesting and explained in every way that I could understand the meaning of the different things I asked about

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      Ali 2 months ago

      The indian appellation is not at all confusing because no ine cares whats indians call it

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      sha McAlister 7 weeks ago

      Reading US book confused about cilantro! Thanks for your article

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      Joe. Brampton Ontario 2 weeks ago

      Thanks for making things clear, even though I don't like cilentro and I always said .... I WOULD NEVER HAVE CILENTRO IN MY HOUSE,

      Now I really feel dumb, cause I have been cooking with coriander for years lolololol

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      Marg 2 weeks ago

      Jamie Oliver uses cilantro in his recipes so I was confused as we refer to it as coriander in Australia.

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      Mark 8 days ago

      You have just cleared up a debate and we had to laugh at the outcome. I work with two Spaniards, two Americans, one French, one Canadian, two Dutch and me British. We had a long debate about the name and you have solved it for us. Thanks to Google we can across your page and we have all agreed it tastes the same by whatever name you choose to give it.

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