Feliz Navidad… Feliz Navidad… Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felicidad! Feliz Navi… oh, we’re sorry! Please forgive us. It’s just that every time we think about this week’s ingredient, we grab our air-maracas and burst into song. Now where were we… oh yes, cilantro.
Dating back to mid-seventeenth century Massachusetts, cilantro is believed to be one of the earliest cultivations of the New World. However, cilantro didn’t gain significant import until it was, well… imported south of the then-non-existent border into modern day Latin America, where it developed the Latin flair that we all, or at least we all at Your Pie, have come to know and love.
The holidays always have a way of bringing together seemingly unrelated family members. Foods are no different. They may be sitting side-by-side on your countertop, but we bet you didn’t know that cilantro is actually a member of the carrot family. Cilantro comes from the leaves of the coriander plant, which is also used to make cilantro’s spicier cousin, you guessed it, coriander. Cilantro, coriander and carrots – now that’s a family get-together we’d like to attend!
There is much debate surrounding the exact flavoring of cilantro. While some describe it as a tangy parsley, others taste elements of citrus, and still others compare it to a mixture between cumin and caraway. No matter the taste, one thing is for certain – cilantro packs a powerful punch and with just a few sprinkles, can quickly turn any party into a flavorful fiesta!
In Latin American cuisine, cilantro is typically used to add excitement to meat dishes, particularly those of the chicken variety. Using garlic olive oil as a base, we suggest peppering it on a pie with corn, onions, red and green peppers, roasted garlic and grilled chicken. Pair it with a cold cerveza from our extensive beer selection and you’ve got a crusted Christmas treat that will have Santa himself exclaiming cilantro-ho-ho!