The Uncountable Incarnations of Coriander Seeds By Jewel Tsai
Northern Europeans make pickled foods. Germans make sausages. Swiss bake breads and apple pies. Bulgarians bake cakes. British people make pickled cabbages and produce Gin…To all of them, coriander seeds are necessary seasonings and the usage is likely similar to the way Chinese use Sichuan pepper or fennel, while the coriander seeds are both suitable for the salty and sweet foods and widely applied on baking cakes and desserts. In a word, the application of coriander seeds is comprehensive. In the past, snacks were short, Europeans even iced sugar to the coriander seeds as sweet beads, which were scattered around from a festooned vehicle and wildly picked up by kids in the carnival. Later on, sweet beads are replaced by Confeitti, which is the must have in the Western weddings and festivals. The word Confeitte is derived from Coriander.
Although the coriander is found in Europe and used in various ways in both salty and sweet foods, it still sticks to the original culture of coriander seeds. The coriander leaves and stems are almost untouched.
Except Europe, India also belongs to another big system of coriander seeds’ culture. The famous curry actually contains a lot of powder made by coriander seeds. Most people mistake curry as ready-made single yellowish seasoning. As a matter of fact, curry is made with volatile ways and is with local prescriptions in northern India, southern India, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia. And the local prescriptions are different in flavors (sweet smelling, spicy, thick, thin.) and are available for more than thousand kinds. The mixed seasonings are ten or twenty kinds or so. Among the spicy seasonings are several basic ingredients: cardamom, cumin, pepper, turmeric, dry chill and coriander seeds. Although the coriander leaves are greatly used for decoration or minced for stewing, such cases are rare and less important and prevalent than curry.
The taste of coriander seeds is milder than coriander leaves and stems. So, the feelings it arises is also more implicit and suggestive, concealing and not showing, hard to be perceived. On the contrary, the culture of coriander leaves is with much excitement. The direct coming fragrance, the eye-catching emerald green color, the crispy and astringent flavor; all of these raise the challenges to sense organs proactively.