Culantro (Eryngium foetidum L.) is a spice herb grown in Puerto Rico and throughout the tropical Caribbean and Central America. and a key ingredient in Puerto Rican cooking. Other names for culantro in Spanish and English include: Puerto Rican coriander, Black Benny, Saw leaf herb, Mexican coriander, Saw tooth coriander, long coriander, Spiny coriander, Fitweed, spiritweed, Culantro, Recao, Shado beni (Trinidad), Chadron benee (Dominica), Alcapate (El Salvador), Cilantro habanero, Cilantro extranjero (Mexico)
Culantro is also utilized throughout the Caribbean as a folk remedy for several ailments. The culantro plant is used in traditional medicines for fevers and chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and in Jamaica for colds and convulsions in children (Honeychurch, P.N. 1980. Caribbean wild plants and their uses. Letchworth Press, Barbados, W.I.
). The leaves and roots are boiled and the water drunk for pneumonia, flu, diabetes, constipation, and malaria fever. The root can be eaten raw for scorpion stings and in India the root is reportedly used to alleviate stomach pains. The leaves themselves can be eaten in the form of a chutney as an appetite stimulant (Mahabir, K. 1991. Medicinal and edible plants used by East Indians of Trinidad and Tobago. Chackra Publ. House, El Dorado, Trinidad, W.I.).
The culantro plant is said to be rich in calcium, iron, carotene, and riboflavin. Culantro leaves are widely used as a food flavoring and seasoning herb for meat and many other foods. The presence of increasingly large West Indian, Latin American, and Asian immigrant communities in metropolises of the US, Canada and the UK. creates a large market for culantro. Large quantities are exported from Puerto Rico and Trinidad to those areas.
Culantro (recao) is an important ingredient in Puerto Rican cooking. The leaves are chopped and added as a spice to most stews and soups.
|Recipe for Basic Salsa|
1/4 cup Onion, diced
1/4 cup Green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup Tomatoes, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantrillo
1 1/2 Tablespoons culantro (recao)
Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until a coarse sauce forms (salsa).
Some people will use the salsa as a dip or side dish. It may also be used to prepare sofrito
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon annatto oil (achiote) for yellowish coloring
Heat the two oils. Add the salsa prepared above and saute over low heat for 3 minutes. Add to whatever dish you are cooking.
If you cannot find the information you need, and we will try to help you find it.