Coriander vs Parsley: Difference and Comparison

Coriander is considered to taste lemony and sometimes warm and nutty in most people. This dominant flavour of coriander can be attributed to the presence of the chemical compounds linalool and pinene.   

On the other hand, Parsley is comprehended to have a bitter taste and is somewhat citric. Some even consider parsley to taste “fresh”. These characteristics are primarily due to the presence of the compound 1, 3, 8-p-mentha triene.

Key Takeaways

  1. Coriander and parsley are popular herbs used in culinary dishes, but they come from different plant species and have distinct flavors.
  2. Coriander, also known as cilantro, has a citrusy, slightly sweet flavor and is used in various cuisines, including Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern.
  3. Parsley has a milder, slightly bitter taste and is used in many European and Mediterranean dishes, as a garnish or as a flavoring in sauces and salads.

Coriander vs Parsley

The difference between coriander and parsley lies in the smell and flavour perceived when added to a cooked dish. Both are commonly used as spices or garnishes to enhance the flavour of a meal. 

Coriander vs Parsley

The primary reason why these two herbs are confused is because of their similar-looking leaves. But it is worth noting that coriander is light green, whereas parsley leaves are darker green. 


 

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonCorianderParsley
Leaf ColorLight greenDark green
FlavourWarm, lemony, nuttyFresh, bitter, citric
Part of the plant consumedLeaves, roots, stem, seedLeaves and sometimes a root
Used in terms of localityMainly Asia and some parts of Europe, Africa and AmericaMediterranean region and American Continent
AromaStrong and pungentMild

 

What is Coriander?

Coriander has many common names, such as cilantro, dhania or Chinese parsley, but scientifically it is known as Coriandrum Sativa. It is a light green-coloured, flat-leaved, soft plant used as a herb in many Indian and middle eastern cuisines. 

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 Coriander has a vague origin story, but its use can be traced back to 2000 BC. It was noted in a 1500 BC Egyptian papyrus, among other medicinal plants and in Chinese scripts from the 5th century.

Widely used in the Asian subcontinent, this herb has made its name for imparting a fresh aroma and a strong flavour. Different parts of coriander, leaves, stems, seeds and roots are used mainly as spices and herbs. 

While the leaves are used for garnishing, coriander seeds are dried and powdered to be used as spices.  However, Coriander leaves and seeds have entirely different tastes and cannot be substituted for each other. 

Coriander seeds have several medicinal properties relating to the presence of essential fatty oils in them. They help treat several digestive problems and even ulcers and rheumatism.

Coriander
 

What is Parsley?

Parsley, a cousin to coriander, was given the botanical name Petroselinum crispum. Three varieties of parsley are used for food preparations, Curley leaf, Flat leaf and Root parsley. 

Although Parsley originally belonged to Sardinia, its history seems to be bound heavily with Greek mythology and folklore, indicating its existence back into the past. However, parsley gained popularity in England around the 1500s. 

This dark green-coloured leaf soon became a constant in the Western diet, and since then, there has been no looking back. The cultivation of parsley has now spread worldwide with its impressive fresh feel and anise-like flavour.

Parsley has been indicated to have several medicinal values and is known to resolve dietary problems such as flatulence and eating disorders. Parsley also has been noted to have hepatoprotective and immune-boosting effects to some extent.

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Health experts love parsley leaves for their high content of vitamins A, C and K and minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. However, overdoses of Parsley over the long term can cause allergic skin reactions.

Parsley is known to help in smoothening menstruation cycles. But it is also reported to cause abortions in 2 to 3 months pregnant women when combined with certain Chinese herbs such as Dong Quai.

Parsley

Main Differences Between Coriander and Parsley

  1. Coriander has a warm, nutty and lemony flavour, whereas parsley is conceived to have a fresh citric yet bitter peppermint-like flavour.
  2. Coriander is deemed to have a stronger, more pungent aroma than parsley, whose smell is considered mild and grassy. 
  3. Parsley dominates the spices in western cuisine, whereas cilantro/coriander is a basic in many eastern cuisines.
  4. Only parsley leaves and rarely the roots are used as condiments, whereas for the coriander plant, all its parts are used as spices or herbs.
  5. Parsley is nutritionally rich than its cousin coriander, given that it is steeped with essential vitamins and minerals.
Difference Between Coriander and Parsley

References
  1. https://fac.ksu.edu.sa/sites/default/files/12-pjb4342235.pdf
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20073195449

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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18 thoughts on “Coriander vs Parsley: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article is rather comical with its detailed focus on coriander and parsley. I wasn’t expecting to find it so intriguing.

    Reply
  2. The article provides a neat comparison between coriander and parsley, but it lacks a bit of humor. A witty remark would have made it more engaging.

    Reply

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