Coriander, aka cilantro
Coriander seed, cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) - Family Celery (Apiaceae). An annual herb with a thin spindle-shaped main stem root and a dense network of lateral roots penetrating the soil to a depth of 1-1.5 m. The bulk of the roots lies in a layer up to 40 cm.The stem is straight or curved, thin-ribbed, often branched in the upper, up to 80 cm high. The leaves are light green, basal - on long petioles with large incised segments, medium stem - short-leaved, double-pinnate, upper - sessile, narrow, dissected. The flowers are white or pink, small, five-lobed. The fruit is a spherical two-seeded.
It grows wild in southern Europe, on the Mediterranean coast. It is also found in the European part of Russia, in the upper reaches of the Volga and Zavolzhye, in the Far East as weed in gardens, crops, near housing.
Coriander is the oldest cultivated plant; its fruits were found in ancient Egyptian tombs of the 10th century. BC e. Since ancient times, it is known among the peoples of Transcaucasia and Central Asia. In Russia, coriander first appeared in the XVI century.
In world practice, coriander is produced on grain to obtain essential oil, on spiced grain without extracting essential oil and to obtain spicy greens. The main areas of its cultivation in our country are the Central Black Earth Region, the Middle Volga Region, and the North Caucasus. In our country, 5 industrial and 10 salad varieties of coriander have been introduced into the culture.
Useful properties of coriander
The ripe fruits of domestic varieties of coriander contain up to 2.4% of essential oil with a very pleasant and delicate smell and taste. Coriander leaves contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamins B1 and B2, carotene, rutin.
In folk medicine, it has long been used not only the fruits of coriander, but also the entire plant collected in the flowering phase. Decoctions and infusions of coriander have antiseptic properties, are a good choleretic, expectorant, analgesic, hemorrhoidal agent, promote wound healing, stimulate the restoration of damaged tissues.
Coriander is a valuable spice-flavor culture. As a spice, fresh and dried greens collected during the flowering period of plants, as well as seeds (fruits) are used. Fresh greens are flavored with meat and vegetable soups, fried meat, fish, salads. Bakery and confectionery products are flavoring with fruits, they are used in the canning industry, as well as in home cooking - in the manufacture of sausages, stewing meat and game, pickling fish, making bread, cakes.
Agricultural technology coriander
Coriander is undemanding to heat, characterized by high frost resistance. The plant is drought tolerant, however, at the first stage of development and during fruit setting, it is very sensitive to moisture. For sowing, well-lit areas with light fertile soils with a neutral or slightly alkaline reaction of the medium are chosen. On marshy, acidic, clay soils that easily form a crust, coriander does not grow well.
The plant is propagated by seed. Sowing coriander in the southern regions (in the North Caucasus) can be carried out in autumn (late August - early September), in other regions - early spring. Seeding depth - 2-3 cm.
When growing coriander in a household plot as a spice, it is sown in several periods with an interval of two weeks, from early spring to mid-summer. Coriander seed sowing rate - up to 1.6 g per 1 m2.
Coriander fruits do not ripen at the same time, prone to shedding. Harvesting is usually started when 30-40% of the fruits ripen. Plants are cut and after five to seven days, after the ripening of the fruits, threshed. Spicy coriander greens can be cut throughout the season.
Openwork, finely divided leaves cover the coriander bushes with a gentle green cloud. In July-September, large inflorescences-umbrellas appear, consisting of small pink and white flowers. They exude a unique aroma. Coriander also looks good during fruiting, when in umbrellas fruits with an original round shape begin to ripen.