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Coriander - Cultivation, properties and benefits of coriander

 Coriander - Cultivation, properties and benefits of coriander


CORIANDER

Coriander is a plant that produces a very widespread spice in Eastern countries but is also widely used in Europe.

BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom

:

Plantae

Clado

: Angiosperms

Clado

: Eudicotyledons

Clado

: Asteris

Order

:

Apiales

Family

:

Apiaceae

Kind

:

Coriandrum

Species

:

Coriandrum sativum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

Coriander, scientific name Coriandrum sativum L. it is a plant widely used as a spice, belonging to the large family of Apiaceaewhere we find important species such as parsley, green anise and coriander. It is an annual plant that is supposed to be native to the Middle East or perhaps North Africa from where it would have spread, escaping cultivation, throughout the Mediterranean basin, in Asia and also in America.

It is a plant no taller than 60-70 cm, with root taproot, stem erect and smooth, with leaves very fragrant and different according to their position in the plant: those placed lower are provided with a long petiole, almost whole or divided into three small toothed leaflets while those placed in the highest part of the plant are bi or tripennatosette not toothed.

The flowers they appear at the beginning of summer, are pinkish-white in color and gathered in umbrella-shaped inflorescences.

The fruit it is small in size and resembles a small sphere (commonly called seed), yellowish in color and full of grooves which is the spice we all know (commonly called seed).

CULTURAL TECHNIQUE

Coriander is a plant that has no special needs cultivate them growing without problems almost everywhere in the temperate climate regions.

The sowing time varies according to the cultivation area: at the beginning of spring in the temperate climate zones while in late spring in the cold climate zones.In any case it is good to sow in sunny areas (if planted in open field in rows at a distance of 50-60 cm while long the row the distance must be about 20 cm), using loose, well-draining soils and at a depth of about 2 cm.

The plant begins to bloom starting from late spring and from July to September, the plants start to be uprooted to collect the fruits.

In consideration of the fact that fresh plants give off a not very pleasant smell, it is preferable to plant them not too close to the house or in the passageways.

AROMATIC PROPERTIES

Coriander, due to its aromatic properties, can be used both the leaves and the seeds. The leaves are mainly used in eastern countries and in the Americas while they are not used in Europe where instead the fruits are used almost exclusively to flavor various types of dishes.

Coriander fruits are also used in the pharmaceutical industry to flavor medicines and in the herbal industry to flavor especially laxatives.

It has such a strong aroma that if you chew the fruits, they can even neutralize the aroma of garlic.

The fruits should be eaten dried as they are fresh and have a very unpleasant odor which they lose with drying, acquiring the characteristic aroma of coriander.

COLLECTION AND STORAGE

The fruits (popularly called seeds) of coriander are harvested, in Mediterranean climates, in July, when they ripen and begin to take on a light brown color. ventilated, dark and dry places. Once they have dried, they hit cloths to drop the fruit which must then be cleaned of dust and beating residues. The fruits thus obtained must be stored in the dark in airtight jars.

It is not a spice that can be stored for a long time as it loses its aroma quite quickly.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES

Different medicinal properties are attributed to coriander thanks to its essential oil which contains linalool, geraniol, acetic acid, decyl acid, borneol and pinenes, caffeic acid, tannins as well as a fair amount of vitamin C. Thanks to its components, its action is expressed as an antiseptic , antispasmodic, stimulant, digestive and carminative (reduces flatulence).

The juice extracted from its green parts has an intoxicating effect similar to that caused by an excess of wine.

USE IN THE KITCHEN

In European countries, only the dried fruits of coriander (improperly called seeds) are used for their fresh and pleasant, sweet and spicy aroma, used to flavor dishes based on meat, fish, sausages, boiled meats, game, pickles, vegetables and in the preparation of different liqueurs.

In eastern countries such as India, Japan, China and also in America, as well as fruits, fresh and chopped coriander leaves are also used, as if they were parsley, which give the food a bitter and spicy taste.

In European cuisine it is not a widely used spice while it is fundamental (such as our parsley) in Middle Eastern cuisine, especially Arab and Indian, entering, among other things, the composition of curry (a mixture of spices of Indian origin) and chutney (a vegetable sauce typical of Indian cuisine, spicy, dense, based on fruit, spices and vegetables). Coriander is also widely used in Mexico and in the South American tradition.

CURIOSITY ABOUT CORIANDER

The name coriander comes from the Greek koris "Bedbug" due to the fact that the fresh plant has a very unpleasant odor reminiscent of green bugs.

In 1500 the custom was born of coating the coriander fruits with colored sugar, thus obtaining small colorful sugared almonds. It is from this tradition that the paper confetti used at carnival for the joy of adults and children derive.

Coriander in the book One Thousand and One Nights it is remembered as an aphrodisiac plant due to the fact that the juice of the green parts causes a state of intoxication similar to that caused by wine.

Coriander fruits have been found in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs to whom it was highly regarded.

WARNING

Coriander essence should be used in very moderation as in high doses it can cause nervous, gastrointestinal and kidney problems. It is advisable to take it under strict medical supervision.


Video: The 5 Health Benefits of Coriander that Most People Ignore