The Smell And Color Signs To Look For When Buying Fresh Cilantro

For some, buying fresh produce is no ordinary task. It's a process that can rely on all five senses, depending on what you're dealing with. Browsing the produce section of the supermarket may take a while — no doubt gaining some stares as we closely examine the produce in question, squishing, smelling, and sometimes sampling what is on offer. It's an important step to ensure you're buying the best produce possible and with cilantro, the same care must be taken.

When thinking about the most ideal form of cilantro, it's a bright green bouquet of leafy, aromatic herbs that — when compared to its herb siblings — can appear quite similar to parsley. When buying fresh cilantro — and almost any herb — determining the best bundle to take home means taking a closer look at the smell and color. Let's explore the signs to look out for when buying fresh cilantro and how to make the most of your next bundle.

How to pick the best bundle of fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro can sometimes be a challenge to pick. It might be tempting to buy dried cilantro to avoid all this hassle, but trust us: fresh cilantro is worth it. When selecting fresh cilantro, the first thing to consider is the smell. To first determine the difference between cilantro and parsley Farmer Lee Jones advises shoppers to sniff them (via Rachel Ray Show). "If you're not sure which is which in a store or at a farm stand, sniff them. The citrusy fragrance means cilantro," Farmer Lee says.

Color is an equally important factor to consider when buying fresh cilantro. Farmer Lee advises to "look for cilantro with lively-looking leaves that show no sign of wilting, blackening, or yellowing. Check that the stems don't look slimy, especially around where they are bunched." If the leaves or stems are starting to wilt or turn yellow or brown, it is a sign that the cilantro is past its prime and may not be as flavorful as it should be.

Make the most of fresh cilantro

When you bring fresh cilantro home, it is important to store it properly to keep it as fresh as possible. The best way to store cilantro is to treat it like a bouquet of flowers. Trim the ends of the stems and place the cilantro in a jar or vase with a small amount of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a plastic bag and store the cilantro in the refrigerator. This will help to keep the leaves hydrated and prevent them from wilting too quickly.

If you have leftover cilantro after making dishes like cilantro lime rice or sprinkling over pumpkin tacos with chorizo and chipotle, you can also freeze it for later use, according to Real Simple. Simply chop the cilantro leaves and stems and pack them into an ice cube tray with water or olive oil. Once frozen, you can transfer the cilantro cubes to a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for four to six months. This is a great way to make the most out of fresh cilantro in your cooking all year round, having it on hand whenever you need it.