Save the Cliantro

Every week I go through the same process of trying to save my cilantro, thyme, basil or whatever other fresh herb made it into my grocery basket.

A defenseless bunch of cilantro heading for the dangerous hands of the cashier. I hate when good food gets no respect.

Fresh herbs, being located in the produce section at the front of every supermarket, are therefore one of the first few things to get picked up when my shopping trip begins. Cliantro has got to be one of the most delicate of things you can buy at a grocery store and unlike eggs which come in the their fortress of cardboard/sytrofom packaging, fresh herbs are pretty much defenseless. Open to the elements, this fragil food can easily be smashed. What this means is that I usually have to spend the entire duration of the shopping experience making sure that I don’t destroy the cilantro by casually tossing a can of beans or a gallon of milk ontop of it. But I am not a complete dumbass, and I usually make it all the way to checkout without too many instances of cliantro casualities.

After waiting in line its finally my turn to checkout…Every time I place the cilantro on the conveyor-belt of doom, I say a little prayer and watch in complete horror as my fresh herbs move slowly towards the cashier.

The BIGGEST COMPLAINT I have with grocery stores is how cashiers and baggers are often completly oblivious to the fragile nature of certain foods. A loaf of bread is easily ruined if not properly handled, and fresh spinach stands no chance if stuck in the same bag as a bunch of heavy, hard edged caned goods. But its more then just ignorant grocery bagging…some cahsiers seem to have some sort of hateful anger toward the defenseless cilantro (or just me). These vengeful store employees  use a stranglehold on the fresh herbs when they go to move it off the conveyer belt and into a bag. This may be due to the trouble cashiers often face when having to  identify if its cliantro or parsely or some other herb I am trying to purchase, each which must be entered differently into the computer.

Once safely home, cilantro and other fresh herbs quickly go into the protective cocoon of the herb-savor. The herb-savor, the perfect gadget for someone fed up with good herbs going bad.

I sometimes politely ask for my precious cilantro to be treated with care…maybe even to be bagged seperatly. Unfortuantly this often results in some truly crazy (or completely careless) cashiers actually balling the innocent cilantro in their fists as they move it aside to countinue the scaning process is a frustrated state.

I really don’t think I am asking too much for them to treat my produce with just a little respect. I am paying for the stuff after all.

Assuming the cliantro makes it home without getting crushed by a rouge melon or bottle of root beer that might have escaped from the plastic grocery bag and is rolling around and causing chaos in the trunk, I need to try and perserve the damn stuff so it last longer than a day. I have heard of a bunch of clever tricks to keep your herbs safe and sound for a week or so. But I am sort of paranoid and take things to an extreme…plus, I love gadgets. So of course my method of cliantro preservation is an official “herb-savor.” This is a ridiculous contraption that takes up some prime restate in the fridge…but guess what? It works…It works damn well too. If I am able to go through the whole shopping endeavor with my fresh herbs still in decent condition, they then immidiatly go into the protective encasement of the “herb-savor.” I can then rest easy knowing I will have tasty freshness for several weeks. Technology is great.

So try and avoid the many pitfalls when purchasing fresh herbs, get yourself a fancy gizmo to keep em fresh and then enjoy a good meal…just be prepared to go through the whole process again next week.


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Categories: Rants, Recommendations

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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22 Comments on “Save the Cliantro”

  1. pharmtechgurl
    March 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    dear mr:
    that scale sticker – is it Louisiana????????

    • March 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

      Hi Pharmtechgurl,

      Yep. I am a proud resident of Louisiana. I even had a bumper sticker on my old car that said: “Louisiana, third world and proud of it.”

      Are from Louisiana too?

  2. pharmtechgurl
    March 26, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    no, actually “from” Chicago, but have lived in Louisiana for about 14 years now and love it!

    • March 26, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      Good to hear it. Louisiana is a GREAT state, and right now is one of the best times of the year to be living in Louisiana: Its crawfish and snoball season!

  3. March 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Cilantro is great. Use liberally in Indian food. Avoid, and I mean, AVOID if you’re ever attempting to cook authentic Indonesian and probably Malaysian (the smell is similar to that of the roaches of that region).

    It’s probably blasphemy but I tend to keep a supply of cilantro in the freezer for use in curries and the like. Freezing makes it wilt like crazy though, so it’s obviously not the way you should treat cilantro when you want to use it for garnish or salads.

    Despite being fragile, cilantro is fairly easy to grow from your regular old consumption grade coriander seeds- a few teaspoons go a long way. It just takes a little bit of patience. If you don’t have a lot of patience, try baby cilantro instead – baby herbs are all the rage for a reason.

    Another benefit from buying your coriander as seeds is that you’ll have the option of using freshly ground coriander instead of the pre-ground kind. You’ll be surprised about how much more aromatic your dishes get.

  4. March 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Hi Kleinebre,
    I have never thought of freezing cilantro. We tend to pick it up from the grocery store every week when its in season.
    We love the stuff and cant get enough. We actually grow basil, rosemary, thyme in the yard…but we refuse to grow cilantro because we kill the bush by picking all the leaves before it has time to grow.

    Fresh cilantro is definitely one of the top herbs out there. I just has a south-west style sweet potato that I stuffed with beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and of course CILANTRO!

    Because I love the stuff so much, you can only imagine how pissed I get when the people working the check-out line at the grocery store smash it.

    Thanks for reading the post and for the tips!

  5. Wheat Free GG
    April 3, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    That’s an interesting contraption! When you say “prime real estate” though, you’ve got it right, no way I could squeeze that into my produce-packed fridge!

    I buy cilantro frequently too, I love it in all sorts of vegetable dishes, beans, southwest foods, and sauces (I think cilantro and lime are meant for each other) I just trim the bottoms of mine and plunk the bunch in a short glass half-full of water on my counter, right next to the parsley! It seems that I use it more when it is in plain sight, and the water alone seems to help it to live until we eat it.

    I do freeze parsley and fresh ginger root, as they hold up pretty darn well to the cold, and the ginger is even easier to grate when it’s firm. Another trick is making a batch of fresh basil pesto and freezing it in ice cube trays, then transferring the cubes to a ziploc. We’ve gotta get tricky to get the most from yummy herbs and spices!

    • April 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Wow. Great ideas, thanks for the tips. I like the idea of freezing stuff in ice cube trays. That is smart.

      Yep, we need to get our mileage worth from our fresh herbs.

  6. April 4, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Wow, I’ve never heard of such a contraption – I just put mine in a jar with a “baggie” over it and hope the kids don’t knock it over and leave it for me to discover next time I open the door! Try growing multiple bunches of cilantro – I do that with parsley and chives. Cilantro bolts when it gets really hot, so it doesn’t hurt to space the planting out by say 3 weeks, then you’ll have it for longer.

    I chop mine up, drop it in ice cube trays and fill them with water and freeze. I eject them and put them in a labelled ziploc. Not fresh, but better than dried, and still great for soups or dips or other preparations.

    • April 4, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      You are far more creative then me…I am just too lazy to think of clever ways of saving my cilantro.

      • April 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

        *laughs* I have to admit I was consumed with jealousy when I saw your contraption! I’ve gotten myself more in perspective and didn’t go to Amazon last night to order one!

      • April 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

        Well. I am a sucker for crazy kitchen gadgets…We have a rule in the Fed Up house: NO infomercials on TV…EVER.

        Other wise our house would be filled with stuff that makes you cook faster, cook more, cook less, and we would have to take out another mortgage to pay for it all.

      • April 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

        *G* Always sound advice…

  7. Cilantro is one of my favorites. Of course it’s a must in my home made salsa and I pinch a sprig and add it to my tamales.Gumbo and Jambalaya, even Pizza.

    I have tried to grow it several times but no luck for some reason? Spring has sprung so I’ll give it a shot again.

    • April 4, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      We use so much of the stuff that we would need an entire farm in our backyard to supply us…so we just buy it once a week or so. It is amazing stuff though.

  8. April 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Mr Fed up, thanks very much. Because of you I was going to get some nice fresh cilantro but all that was left at the supermarket was a wilted and half-dry bunch. I guess my next curry is going to have to wait. Thai-style chicken soup instead, this time. Cook on!

    • April 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      Ha, hey Kleinebre,
      I am sorry to hear about your cilantro misfortune. Curry sounds good though, but without the right fresh herbs and seasonings, curries can turn out nasty. Enjoy the soup though. A good Thai “tom-yum” soup is always a favorite in the Fed Up household.

  9. April 7, 2012 at 6:27 am #

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