In hobby gardens so far rather a rarity, coriander is worldwide as the most used spice. The leaves outrank the seeds. We have compiled interesting facts about the origin and the best varieties for you here.
A spice plant with Mediterranean charm
Coriander most probably started its triumphal march around the globe from the eastern Mediterranean. From here, the spice found its way into the palace gardens of a Babylonian king 5,000 years ago, as evidenced by ancient clay tablets. Moreover, the Ancient Egyptians appreciated the leaves and seeds so much that they used coriander as burial gifts. The famous pharaoh Tutankhamun was also to feast on the spice on his journey to eternity.
The Chinese got to know and love coriander about 400 AD. The British mentioned the spice plant in 1066 AD, from where it was spread throughout Europe. It was not until the 17th century that immigrants took the seeds to North and South America, where coriander caused a sensation on menus. Today, the spice primarily dominates Asian and South American cuisine.
A small but fine selection of varieties – invitation to browse
Why coriander enjoys such popularity is revealed by the following varieties with their individual attributes:
‘Cilantro’: the most widely eaten seasoning herb in the world, a special leaf coriander with a mild aroma
‘Thüringer’: a local cultivar, uncomplicated to grow, excellently adapted to our climate
‘Confetti’: captivates with extra tender, feathery leaves, the ideal variety for beginners
Jantar’: a Russian variety with a nutty aroma, ideal for freezing.
If you are looking for a perennial variety of coriander, you will find it in Vietnamese coriander. Botanically assigned to a different species, the leaves nevertheless have the typical sweet coriander aroma. The plant is not frost-resistant, but has the ability to overwinter indoors. Thanks to its pretty pink flowers, this variety is often cultivated in a hanging basket (19,00€ at Amazon*).
Tips & Tricks
It’s not just the inimitable flavor that sets cilantro apart. The spice plant is very easy to sow in any hobby garden. In addition, coriander thrives quite wonderfully in the tub on the balcony, without requiring permanent care.