Difference Between Cilantro and Culantro (With Table)

When we hear the words cilantro and culantro, we might think it a typo if we have no idea about these herbs. These herbs are different from each other, with few similarities and dissimilarities. Both of these herbs are famous in the culinary world. Cilantro leaves are smaller than culantro. Both of these can be vice versa used. Both the herbs are known to have numerous health benefits along with the tangy taste.

Cilantro vs Culantro

The difference between cilantro and culantro is that culantro is stronger than cilantro. Cilantro is used raw, but it needs to be added less when culantro is used due to its more robust flavor. Also, cilantro is a herb found in winters, whereas culantro is found throughout the year. Culantro is the chef’s special ingredient because of the different and intense taste and smell but, cilantro has a more homely flavor. Both the herbs are used in the world depending upon the need of the dish.

Cilantro is a herb that belongs to the family Apiaceae. It belongs to the Coriandrum genus. Cilantro has a higher shelf life than culantro. It is a herb that resembles Parsley. Therefore, it is also known as Chinese Parsley. The flavor of cilantro is lighter and is widely used in decorating cuisines. All parts of the herb are edible and are used to enhance the flavors of the food. The herb belongs to North America, Asia, and Europe.

Culantro is a herb that belongs to the family Apiaceae but, the genus is Eryngium. It tastes harder than cilantro. Culantro leaves are long and thin with serrated edges. The herb is used in less quantity as compared to cilantro. The herb is mainly used for marinating, garnishing, and seasoning food. It is found in Central America, Europe, and parts of Asia.

Culantro is a herb that belongs to the family Apiaceae but, the genus is Eryngium. It tastes harder than cilantro. Culantro leaves are long and thin with serrated edges. The herb is used in less quantity as compared to cilantro. The herb is mainly used for marinating, garnishing, and seasoning food. It is found in Central America, Europe, and parts of Asia.

Comparison Table Between Cilantro and Culantro

Parameters of ComparisonCilantroCulantro
GenusCoriandrumEryngium
Taste and flavorLighter taste and flavorStronger taste and pungent flavor
LocationNorth America, Asia and EuropeCentral America, Europe and parts of Asia
LeavesSmaller leaves with feather-like edgesLong and thin leaves with serrated edges
GrowthCilantro needs to be replanted every year.Culantro is perennial. It can grow from same shoot for several years.

What is Cilantro?

Cilantro belongs to the family Apiaceae and genus Coriandrum. The common names of cilantro include dhania, Coriander, etc. Cilantro is a Spanish word used for Coriander. Leaves and seeds are most popularly used, although all the parts are edible. Cilantro has a lime-like taste due to the presence of aldehydes.
Cilantro is native to Northern America, Southern Europe, and Asia. The plant goes up to the length of 52 cm in height. The leaves of this plant are slender, feather-like in appearance. The flowers are white and light pink without any symmetry. Cilantro leaves have 91% water, 5% carbohydrates, 2.5% protein, and less than 1.5% fat.
Cilantro leaves are used to enhance the flavor of cuisines. In the culinary world, the leaves are used to decorate the food platters. The leaves are always used raw and never cooked because heat vanishes the tangy flavor. Leaves and seeds have different tastes. While the leaves are used to make chutney and salads, the seeds are used as masala in every Indian food.

What is Culantro?

The scientific name of culantro is Eryngium foetidium is a herb that belongs to the family Apiaceae like cilantro. The genus of culantro is different than cilantro. Culantro is known for its high citrus taste. Culantro is native of Central America, Europe and parts of Asia. The herb could be grown through the same shoot almost permanently.

It retains its tangy and strong flavor even after drying, making it an essential herb in the culinary industry, unlike cilantro. It is used as a replacement for cilantro, but it is used in less quantity due to strong flavor. Apart from using the herb in foods, it is also used in traditional medicines to cure malaria, diarrhea, burns, earache, etc. It is known to calm the mind of a person and is also known by common names like fitweed and spiritweed.

Culantro is also known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, analgesic and anticonvulsant properties due to the presence of a compound called Eryngial. The compound is found to treat fevers, chills, headaches, vomiting, and hypertension. Tannins, saponins and alkaloids give it the special flavor and healing properties.

In the food industry, it is a chef’s favorite herb because of the different flavors. It doesn’t lose its flavor even after heating or drying. The flavor of culantro is mesmerizing for some but, rotten for others. It depends upon the individual’s taste whether to like it or not.

Main Differences Between Cilantro and Culantro

  1. The genus of cilantro is Coriandrum, whereas the genus of culantro is Eryngium.
  2. Cilantro loses its flavor after drying, but culantro retains the flavor after drying.
  3. Cilantro needs to be replanted every year, whereas culantro, a perennial herb, can grow from the same shoot for many years.
  4. Cilantro’s leaves give a feather-like appearance, but culantro leaves are long and thin with serrated edges.
  5. Cilantro has a light flavor, but culantro has a stronger flavor.

Conclusion

Cilantro and culantro have the same taste, but culantro has a more intense flavor than culantro. Culantro is used as a substitute for cilantro in many places. Cilantro needs to be planted, but culantro also grows in the wild. Both herbs are used widely in the culinary industry. Both the herbs have taken over the globe and are being used for garnishing, seasoning, marinating, and decorating cuisines. The herbs not only serve culinary purposes but are also known for their medicinal uses. We should use them in foods to get all the benefits.

References

  1. https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1999/pdf/v4-506.pdf
  2. https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1096/fj.201900485R
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