I think cilantro can elevate any meal it’s added to. And this cilantro mint salsa does just that!
It has herbs, jalapeno, and garlic that can either be processed into a sauce or roughly chopped and mixed together. Use it on meat, grain bowls, enchiladas, savory breakfasts etc. The list goes on! But as we know cilantro is not loved by all. Researchers Mauer and El-Sohemy, in their article, “Prevalence of Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) Disliking among Different Ethnocultural Groups, explain how people choose their food, “flavor is one of the most important factors influencing food selection. Perception of bitter, sweet, salty, sour and umami taste is mediated by clusters of taste receptor cells and the tongue, palate, larynx, oropharynx, epiglottis and esophagus (1). They also addressed the potential genetic link for cilantro preference, “genetic factors are known to influence perception of certain odors and tastes, and twin studies have suggested strong heritability for cilantro preference. However, no genetic factors associated with cilantro preference have yet been identified (Mauer and El-Sohemy 2). This study looked at 419 male[s] and 962 female[s] (Mauer and El-Sohemy 2) of different ethnocultural groups. They found that groups with a high amount of individuals who had not tried cilantro also had a high dislike rating of cilantro, “a high proportion of East Asians, Caucasians and individuals of African descent had never tried cilantro (27%, 16% and 31%, respectively); these groups also had the highest prevalence of dislikers (Mauer and El-Sohemy 2). It will be interesting to see if they ever genetically link cilantro like/dislike.
Cilantro also has plenty of wonderful health benefits! In the article, “Medicinal Benefits of Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L)” researchers Rajeshwari and Andallu explain how cilantro is viewed all over the world, “Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant. In some parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects” (55). It has been tested and shown to have high antioxidant activity as well (Rajeshwari and Andallu 52). If you like cilantro consider adding it to more of your meals and try out this salsa!
Makes 1 cup salsa
Bunch of cilantro
1/2 cup mint
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt to taste
1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
2. Or run through the first four ingredients with your knife and add the rest of the ingredients, mix until incorporated.
Mauer, Lilli, and Ahmed El-Sohemy. “Prevalence of Cilantro (Coriandrum Sativum) Disliking among Different Ethnocultural Groups.” Flavour, vol. 1, no. 1, 2012.
Rajeshwari, Ullagaddi, and Bondada Andallu. “Medicinal Benefits of Coriander(Coriandrum Sativum L).” Spatula DD - Peer Reviewed Journal on Complementary Medicine and Drug Discovery, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011, p. 51.