Coriander Seeds -- Brown vs. Green???
hi all - i'm having an issue with coriander seeds... i regularly buy coriander seeds from a local ethnic grocery store and they have always been brown. i bought some recently and they were green-ish, a bit larger and slightly more oval shaped. when i brought them home and ground them, they didn't smell nearly as pungent and IMHO they didn't taste as good either. i checked out a different store and the coriander they sold in bulk had the same green tint and shape. could someone please kindly explain the difference to me? many thanks!
FYI wikipedia has pictures of the various coriander seeds but alas no explanation:
No prob. Icidentally with a little time and training you can also tell the geographical origin of the coriander by the types of other seeds that get mixed in (mostly from whatever weeds were in the field at the time) this is actually becoming useful to me, since some companies have hit on the idea of sending seed corainder around to othe regions to take advantage of labor costs alliances (so you can find say, Indian type coming out of Turkey, or Thai type coming out of Brazil) and if you favor a particular region (the regional weather, as well as the type can affect flavor profile) it can give you addional clues.
you can get different varieties of coriander, with varying amounts of essential oils. also, some of your seeds may be older than other batches, and have lost some pungency.
""Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) is an annual herb, mainly cultivated for its fruits as well as for the tender green leaves. It is native of the Mediterranean region. In India, it is grown in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Major portion is though consumed locally; a small quantity is being exported now.
The fruits have a fragrant odour and pleasant aromatic taste. The odour and taste are due to the essential oil content, which varies from 0.1 to 1.0 % in the dry seeds. These essential oils are used for flavouring liquors, coca preparations in confectionary and also to mask the offensive odours in pharmaceutical preparations. The dried ground fruits are the major ingredients of the curry powder. The whole fruits are also used to flavour foods like pickles, sauces and confectionary. The young plants as well as the leaves are used in the preparation of chutney and are also used as seasonings in curries, soups, sauces and chutneys. It has medicinal properties too. Fruits are said to have carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic and aphrodisiac properties.""" http://www.indiaagronet.com/indiaagro...
this site lists nine varieties.
In this case I think it's a regional thing, the standard coriader seed strains grow in different parts of the world are quite different. The "green one" you have noted is typical of the kind popularly grown in India. The brown ones are of a type more commonly found in Turkey, Morroco and the middle east region. Different companies get thier seed from different sources, so which you get depends a lot on which brand your are buying (thogh companies chage sources pretty often) There also a kind of coriander seed you may bump into that is popular in Thailand and S.E. Asia which is very small seeded and almost white, but I don't reccomend that one (for varios reasons)