CORIANDER - Coriander seeds are the ripe, 3 - 5 mm (C. sativum vulgare), dried schizocarpic fruits of the annual coriander herb (parsley family, Umbelliferae). The fruits of Coriandrum sativum microcarpum have a diameter of only 1.5 - 3 mm. The two varieties differ in their essential oil content, the smaller having the higher content. The fruits are spherical and yellowish-brownish in color. Finger pressure is enough to divide them into two half-fruits. Coriander comes originally from Asia Minor and the southern Mediterranean.
The pleasant, strong, peculiarly aromatic odor and sweetish, slightly bitter flavor of the fruits forms only after a certain period of storage and is caused by the essential coriander oil contained in the fruits.
Oil content: Coriandrum sativum var. vulgare contains 0.1 - 0.5% essential oils (Morocco, India), while Coriandrum sativum var. microcarpum contains > 0.4 - 1.8% (southern Europe). The principal component of the essential oil is coriandrol.
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