When people hear the word “cilantro,” most picture the bright green leaves that we see chopped up in salsa or guacamole and that provide the distinctive citrus-like flavor common throughout Latin American cuisine. For many, cilantro adds a crisp brightness to a dish; however, others think it tastes unpleasantly soapy. One fact that both groups often overlook is that it can be used in both fresh and dried forms. Oregano and basil are both widely known as herbs that can be flavorful whether they are taken from the garden or from the spice cabinet but cilantro is equally versatile.
In this SPICEography showdown, we will look at both forms of this herb and consider their similarities and differences. Does dried cilantro taste the same as fresh cilantro? Can you use dried and fresh cilantro in the same types of dishes? The answers to those questions and more below.