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Coriander (coriandrum sativum)

Aromatic plant, resembling flat-leaving parsley (indeed, it's related and called Chinese parsley in the Orient), both the leaves and fruit (seeds) of which are used as flavourings (the root as well in Thai cooking). The seeds were certainly a favourite spice (along with cumin) of the early Mesopotamians, who lived in the area we now call the Persian Gulf; and was brought to Britain by the Romans (who loved it) and cultivated profusely in Southern England up to Queen Victoria"s succession, after which its popularity declined. It is similarly little-used in modern Italian cookery.

Its two forms - leaves and seeds - have completely different flavours (the seeds being 'orangey', but both are staples of diet in the area stretching from Thailand to the North Africa and the central Mediterranean (and then over to Mexico). See 'Coriander, The Leaves'; ' Coriander, The seeds', 'Coriander, Culinary uses'; 'Coriander, Medicinal uses'

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