Coriandrum satvium, more commonly known as cilantro, is one herb that people tend to love or really totally dislike. It’s one of the ingredients of Mexican salsa (known as Pico de Gallo to people from up north). In Puerto Vallarta, you won’t find a traditional restaurant that doesn’t present salsa on the table, often before you’ve even had a chance to glance at the menu.
We grow our own cilantro in one of the many pots on our sunny patio, along with basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley and other herbs we put to daily use in the kitchen. Just a few steps away… and fresh as a fish out of the sea.
Cilantro is widely used in Thai, Chinese and Eastern Indian cuisine, as well as Mexican
For those who seem to detect a soapy taste or odor, studies have proven this is the result of a genetic disorder! Aldehyde is a component of cilantro that is found in organic materials of a distinct chemical structure. If the word sounds familiar, it’s probably because it reminds one of formaldehyde, that horrible smell we recall from grade seven biology classes. Keep in mind, however, that Chanel No 5, the most popular perfume in the world, is also made with a combination of aldehydes. It’s okay if you don’t like the scent of that either. We prefer people who give off the aroma of Mexican laundry detergent but there’s a discussion for another time.
To realize the repugnance of cilantro is actually genetic makes us think there are some aversions that possibly cannot be reversed. However, it’s beneficial to take into consideration that cilantro is a natural potent antioxidant, and has a small antibacterial effect against salmonella. It’s a dietary source of magnesium, iron and manganese, is a natural diuretic and can help overcome nausea.
To make your own salsa at home you will need the following: one tomato, diced; one onion, chopped; half a fresh jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped; one quarter teaspoon of salt; the juice of one medium lime; a small handful cilantro, rinsed, stemmed and coarsely chopped. Some chefs like to add one chopped cucumber or raw zucchini. Mix well and allow to chill for about an hour letting the flavors absorb one another. Serve with tortilla chips (totopos) and a pitcher of sparking lemonade or delicious margaritas. Buen provecho!
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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