I also like cilantro, and it has always amused me that it is also called coriander and Chinese parsley. The first time I noticed it in a meal was in the first Szechuan restaurant we ate in, Chuan Yuan, and that was when we lived in Brooklyn. It imparted a slightly soapy taste and it took several years before we realized it was the cilantro. I still love it.
@andyw same plant - two names. I saw cilantro called young coriander when I was in Taiwan and I noticed it when shopping in some Asian and middle eastern markets. We call it cilantro till it goes to seed them suddenly we call it coriander. Weird.
I’m sure there’s some perfectly logical reason for all this but I was never curious enough to actually look it up. Now I think I should.
@spacemart Wikipedia agrees with you in part, but uses the terms sort of interchangeably (look under the entry coriander). I see I am in the 3-21% who perceive the soapiness. That gene might explain my dislike of certain detergents (even though I love cilantro). Very interesting and thank you for making me look it up!
@andyw Hah, my first taste of it was at the very first Vietnamese restaurant I’d ever been to in SF, in the 80s. I said to our friends “They didn’t rinse the soap off of this plate!” And they laughed and told me it was cilantro. I’m one of the 14% of haters.
@spacemart That is very interesting about detergents. My family used Tide for as long as I can remember, so when my wife and I did clothes, that’s what we used. Then at some point (at least 30 years ago) I started having a very, very, low level of nausea or discomfort which I somehow linked to a mild smell. After a bit I decided the smell was from the Tide, so we switched and the nausea disappeared. Now I can smell people’s detergent when walking or riding my bike past their house. Maybe it is the same gene-there is an interesting study there!
@andyw@spacemart Hmm, that IS interesting. I can’t stand scented detergent or (shudder) dryer sheets, and I also dislike a certain synthetic green apple scent that a lot of shampoos have nowadays. Oddly enough I’m a perfume collector but there are many of those that I can’t abide either.
@Kyeh@spacemart I don’t like most perfumes either. We almost never use dryer sheets. We use Alberto VO5 (Normal) for a shampoo and it has no smell that I have noticed. It is usually 99 cents for a bottle, which is nice.
@hchavers@macromeh Rosemary is great on potatoes! Just adding to fried potatoes too. Rosemary plants are very hardy, we have huge plants outside that aren’t bothered by hard freezes or hot sun.
Oregano and thyme also are very easy to grow and the plants grow for many years outside. Thyme does tend to ‘over-grow’ it’s area though…
In my practice, I use a ton of sage and rosemary. I absolutely love the smell. In cooking, I use a lot of basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. They’re all useful and wonderful. Kinda difficult to pick just one.
WRT to fresh herbs, i said basil because i do love it, both to grow and eat but, cilantro is what i have in my fridge pretty much 24/7 and use most often because i cook a lot of tex mex/mexican, and it’s also good with asian food.
i also love dill. i actually think dill is more polarizing than cilantro, it seems. even without the whole genetic taste receptor bit.
when it comes to dried herbs, oregano is definitely the winner for me.
bonus herb storage tip nobody asked for: if you treat a bunch of herbs like a bouquet of flowers they’ll last a long time. for parsley, dill, and cilantro just trim the stems, put them in a glass with some water, and store in the fridge, with the produce bag ballooned over top to recreate humidity a la the fridge at the florist. (but for basil, just leave it on the counter in the bag and try to use it as soon as possible.)
I use rosemary and basil all the time. Another one I like (it a mixture) is herbs de Provence. In the summer I grow rosemary, basil, mint, cilantro, lavender, sage and a few others. It’s harder to grow herbs in the winter here, not enough light.