One of the staple herbs of Mexican cuisine, cilantro has added flavor to assorted dishes for centuries. The word “cilantro” refers to coriander leaves, the seeds of which are commonly used as a spice. Whether you are new to cilantro or a longtime fan, take a moment to learn more about the popular Mexican food ingredient.

Egyptian Tombs & Biblical References

While the exact origins of cilantro remain a mystery, the plant is believed to have come out of the Mediterranean and southwestern Europe in 5,000 BC. Its use dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Seeds were placed in tombs, including King Tut's, and discussed in texts. Both the Egyptians and the ancient Greeks thought coriander was an aphrodisiac. Egyptians also used the spice in the production of salves and poultices for muscle pain and arthritis relief.

Coriander seeds are even mentioned in the Exodus book of the Old Testament. Other ancient references to coriander appear in the famous “The Tales of the Arabian Nights.”

Ancient Trade Routes & Beyond

mexican cuisineCilantro made its way to the east and west, presumably through trade routes. It has been utilized in Chinese cuisine for hundreds of years and was introduced to Britain by the Romans. In 1670, the British brought the herb to North America, though they were preceded by Spanish conquistadors who introduced cilantro to the Americas in the 1500s. It quickly became popular in Latin America and Mexico, and appears in a wide variety of Mexican cuisine to this day such as burritos, tacos, tostados, nachos, and fajitas. Authentic guacamole also typically features cilantro.


Enjoy delicious Mexican cuisine made with cilantro at Ono Loco Tacos in Wahiawa, HI. The favorite taqueria features a chef with over 30 years of experience who offers savory, authentic Mexican cuisine residents and tourists love. View the menu online, or call (808) 376-8996 to order takeout. Never miss a deal or special by liking the Facebook page.