herbs

Category: herbs

Cilantro (s) You Didn’t Know.

Foraging for edible plants is an important activity throughout Mexico, and we are lucky that people who do this bring what they don’t use to the regional markets!

Cilantro is a beloved flavor in Mexico… the fresh citrus balances the heat of fresh chiles very nicely. Here are a couple of “cilantros” I have encountered in my travels.

Cilantro de la montaña,

 

 To identify these leaves which I had found at the Thursday Tianguis at Zaachila outside Oaxacaa,  I consulted with Chef Alejandro Ruiz of Casa Oaxaca, El Restaurante

I had been told they were “cilantro de montaña” by the vendor, and sure enough, the thick juicy leaves taste like cilantro. But how to use them, I wondered.

Alejandro explained that  they come from the Mixteca, a  lush mountainous region reachable via Oaxaca City.  it was typical there to use them like a tortilla to contain fillings, for maiz-less tacos.

Another discovery was this cilantro, which looked like little water-lily pads — shiny surfaced to resist water, and a long stem. Indeed, they are found at the edges of ponds and lakes as I was told by a vendor in Tepoztlán who referred to the plant only as “Cilantro Criollo”, Criollo referring always to un-cultivated and wild.

Here, I used it to complement apple and cheese on toast.

 

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