More about Coriander Seed
Coriander Seed (Coriandrum sativum) is one of the thirteen spices that make up the "Bakers Dozen.” An annual of the parsley family, coriander is grown for its seeds and also for its leaves, the herb - cilantro. Indigenous to the near east and to the more temperate areas that surround the Mediterranean Sea, it is now cultivated in much of the world. The largest growers of coriander are India, Canada and the countries of the Russia Federation.
Coriander is one of the oldest spices and was known as far back as 5000 BC. The seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs and the spice is one of the few mentioned in the Old Testament.
Coriander seeds, which are actually a fruit, are globular and almost round. Brown to yellow red in color, they are about 1/5 inch in diameter and have a warm, spicy, aromatic and slightly floral flavor with a fruity citrus aftertaste. The flavor is largely imparted by the volatile or essential oil found in the seeds, which is rich in linalool and also contains alpha pinene, beta pinene, geraniol and borneol. Linalool and geraniol contribute the floral notes to the flavor of coriander. The higher the volatile oil content of the seeds the more flavorful is the spice. In general, due to its higher volatile oil content, the best coriander is grown in Russia and Eastern Europe.
The aroma of coriander reminds many people of bologna and frankfurters. This makes perfects sense, since the oil is one of the principal flavoring ingredients used in these and other processed meats. Coriander seed is also used in baked goods, condiments, confections, chewing gum, alcoholic and non- alcoholic beverages and pickled products. Countless Spanish, Indian, Mexican and North African seasonings incorporate ground coriander often in combination with cumin. The ground seeds can be used by cooks in chili, cakes, cookies, soups, and stews and sprinkled on corn and green beans.