Mutant Winter Cilantro

December 13th, 2010

My first crop of cilantro came up long before I had any tomatoes ready to make salsa…

Then it went to seed and I dutifully bottled up some of those seeds because they are the spice known as coriander.

Which is a spice I never use, making this task seem doubly erratic.

But some of the seeds dropped to the ground and produced a second crop of cilantro.  This second version grows on thick purple stems and spreads out like a ground cover.  It has the same soapy taste that people either love or hate.  And just in time for Christmas dinner! 

 Because who doesn’t love a little cilantro in their eggnog!


  • Coriander is a great spice! You should try it out sometime. Also, I’ve tried growing cilantro a few times now, indoors, and it always dies. Always. So I hate it. (Thankfully it’s pretty cheap at the store though, ’cause that’s apparently the only way I’ll ever be able to have any.)

    • Kait:

      I love Coriander myself. Had no idea it came from Cilantro (spit) until I read this post, but I won’t hold that against it.

  • WOW! I wish I had a cilantro crop like this. Ours does all right, but has a tendency to bolt. The last bit we grew got hit by cold weather. I’m hoping the seeds just drop and resead where they fall…

  • Inga:

    I love it when plants reseed themselves. But no cilantro for this family, blech!


  • judy:

    You know, I guess I have weird taste buds…I hear the “soapy” description frequently, and I just don’t get that at all. I love it in salsa, and added to greens in a salad…yum. Tastes fresh and bright to me. Would love to have had your crop!

    • Kait:

      Not soapy to me. Just incredibly gross and tastes a lot like tin. I just think if you like it you don’t actually have taste buds.

      That line about sprinkling it on eggnog gave me a good laugh though. :)

  • susan:

    OMG! Soapy is the perfect descriptor for this strong as hell herb. Blach!!!!!!!

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    I’m ready to start gardening. When’s Spring?

  • Nancy:

    I’m a big fan of cilantro. I don’t find it soapy, but that’s just me. I’ve used coriander in plenty of recipes – my favorite is Murg Makhani, an Indian dish. It’s addictive! I think it’s also called butter chicken, or chicken makhani . Deeee-lish!

  • I’ve never been very fond of cilantro since someone long ago described it as tasting just like tiger piss. That turned me off. Now, I find salsas and some other dishes missing that vital “something” without including a good stream of cilantro.

    • My first question would be, how would they know what tiger piss tasted like…? :o)

      I love your comment, “…a good stream of cilantro.” Fits so perfectly & hilariously with the first part of your post!

  • Joel Wheeler:

    Well I learned today that cilantro and coriander are different parts of the same thing. Cool. Doesn’t explain why I like coriander (in small quantities as part of a spice-blend-rub for meats or for seasoning root-vegetable roast medleys) but DO NOT LIKE cilantro. Yes, soap.

    But what I really find fascinating is how quickly (one generation) a plant allowed to seed will revert or change back to a strikingly different iteration or expression of the same genetic material. Cool! Like when your variegated-leaf *whatever* suddenly starts making leaves that aren’t variegated.

    Merry Christmas Rechelle!