Cilantro, Long Standing (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb in the Apiaceae family. It is widely cultivated and appreciated for its fresh, citrusy flavor and aromatic leaves. Cilantro is native to regions in southern Europe, North Africa, and southwestern Asia.
The plant has a slender, upright growth habit, typically reaching a height of about 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm). The leaves are delicate and pinnately divided, resembling flat parsley leaves. They are bright green in color and emit a distinct, refreshing scent.
Cilantro, Long Standing is a specific cultivar known for its slower bolting characteristics. Bolting refers to the tendency of cilantro plants to produce flowers and set seeds, which causes the leaves to become less flavorful. The Long Standing variety is bred to delay this process, allowing for an extended harvest of fresh leaves before the plant bolts.
Both the leaves and seeds of cilantro are used in cooking, although they have distinct flavors. The leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant and are highly versatile. They add a fresh, citrusy taste to a wide range of dishes, including Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian cuisines. Cilantro leaves are commonly used in salsas, guacamole, curries, salads, and as a garnish for various dishes.
Cilantro seeds, also known as coriander seeds, have a warm, nutty flavor with hints of citrus. They are often used as a spice and are a common ingredient in curry powders, pickling blends, and baked goods. The seeds can be ground or toasted to enhance their flavor before use.
Cilantro is relatively easy to grow and thrives in full sun or partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and regular watering. The plant can be grown from seeds, and successive plantings can ensure a continuous supply of fresh leaves throughout the growing season.
It's worth noting that cilantro has a polarizing taste, and some individuals may perceive its flavor as soapy or unpleasant due to genetic factors. However, for those who enjoy its unique flavor profile, cilantro, especially the Long Standing variety, is a fantastic herb to have in the kitchen, adding a vibrant and distinctive taste to a variety of dishes.