[Sca-cooks] Digby and coriander

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sun Mar 13 10:41:57 PDT 2011

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Cori_sat.html indicates that a  
number of people dislike the taste of the leaves but the seeds are  
found to be pleasant.
I looked in EEBO-TCP and found coriander seed mentioned for comfits  
and ipocras, esp. in the latter 17th century.

John Gerarde in his Herball has a chapter devoted to the Coriander,  

"THe first or common kinde of Coriander is a very stinking herbe,  
smelling like the stinking worme called in Latine Cimex: it hath a  
round stalke full of branches, two foot long. The leaues are of a  
faint greene colour, very much cut or iagged: the leaues that grow  
lowest, and spring first, are almost like the leaues of Cheruill or  
Parsley, but those which come forth af∣terward, and grow vpon the  
stalks, are more iagged, almost like the leaues of Fumitorie, though a  
great deale smaller, tenderer, and more iagged. The floures are white,  
and do grow in round tassels like vnto Dill. The seed is round, hollow  
within, and of a pleasant sent and sauour when it is drie. The root is  
hard, and of a wooddie substance, which dieth when the fruit is ripe,  
and soweth it selfe yeare to yeare, whereby it mightily increaseth.
2 There is a second kinde of Coriander very like vnto the former,  
sauing that the bottome leaues and stalks are smaller: the fruit  
thereof is greater, and growing together by couples, it is not so  
pleasant of sauour nor taste, being a wilde kinde thereof, vnfit  
either, for meat or medicine.
The Temperature.
The greene and stinking leaues of Corianders are of complexion cold  
and dry, and very naught, vnwholesome and hurtfull to the body.

The drie and pleasant well sauouring seede is warme, and very  
conuenient to sundrie purposes."

I suspect they didn't like the leaves.


On Mar 13, 2011, at 12:47 PM, James Prescott wrote:

> Greetings,
> I have a question.  I see that Digby (Closet Opened) uses coriander  
> seed
> in a few places, but does not appear to use coriander leaf (aka  
> cilantro).
> Was coriander leaf not used at the time in England?  If not, does  
> anyone
> have a theory as to why? Thanks, Thorvald

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