Difference between parsley and coriander(cilantro)?

  • A lot of falafel recipe calls for both chopped coriander/cilantro and parsley. Online images look the same to me. Is there a difference between the two? Would omission of one drastically change the flavor?

    The flavor is dramatically different.

  • bikeboy389

    bikeboy389 Correct answer

    9 years ago

    Coriander leaf/cilantro looks VERY similar to flat leaf parsley. When I have both at the house I sometimes resort to smelling them to know which is which.

    Cilantro is very strong smelling, and you'd definitely change the flavor of the dish if you left it out.

    Flat leaf parsley is significantly more subtle and has a much milder flavor and scent. It is not flavorless, and in a recipe that calls for a lot of it, you'd really be missing something by leaving it out.

    When you've got a recipe that calls for both parsley and cilantro, you're definitely going to be more able to taste/smell the cilantro more than parsley, but they'll both contribute different notes. If you have to leave one out, leave out the parsley, but don't try to make up the volume with more cilantro, as you may wind up overpowering your dish. Just leave the parsley out and proceed as normal.

    Do not use curly leave parsley in anything--it is tough and virtually flavorless. It is ONLY a garnish and not worth wasting your time on.

    I'll just add that cilantro is not as pungent in either smell or taste when it is very fresh. But it "expires" quickly.

    True enough, but compared to parsley, even very fresh it has a much stronger flavor and scent.

    As far as visual recognition goes, cilantro leaves are much more delicate than those of flat-leaf parsley, and have large numbers of small rounded tips. Flat-leaf parsley leaves are thicker, and have larger, often pointed lobes.

    It is worth noting that Cilantro has an unusual characteristic; depending on your genetic makeup your tasting abilities differ. For some small percentage of the population the taste of cilantro is very unpleasant, I've heard it described as soapy. I wouldn't know as I'm lucky enough to enjoy it, and I find the few things I use it in (fajitas, a few 'don' style dishes) it is wonderful and essential.

    Cilantro in large quantities tastes of metal to me.

    @renegade yep, my girlfriend is one of those people. Can't have cilantro in any quantity. Coriander seed not as bad if used sparingly.

    Tastes a bit soapy and metallic to me - but not in an entirely unpleasant way - and increases perception of saltiness. Mixed genes I guess ;)

    "virtually flavorless", no.... but weaker, yes. The advantage with curly is that the texture might be desired here and there, and that the stuff has less of a tendency to rot in your fridge :)

    I agree with this answer apart from the last paragraph - there are many uses for curly leaf parsley. It has a slightly different flavour (a bit more metallic and grassy) and a different texture, and is definitely not 'virtually flavourless'. A traditional english parsley sauce would not be right with flat-leaf parsley

    Hmmm...each to their own I guess. I like curly parsley and definitely wouldn't describe it as tough or tasteless. I rarely eat it raw though, so that may make a difference. I use it more as a seasoning, finely chopped, and usually it's at least partially cooked. I prefer it to flat leaf parsley (usually called Italian parsley in my part of the world).

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM