The best herbs, grown alongside the best herb.
Approximately 10% of the population is genetically predisposed to hate cilantro. Thanks to a variation in their olfactory receptor genes, cilantro yields a vile, soapy taste. Side effects of eating it–or getting served it at a restaurant– include ranting, moaning, and awkwardly pantomiming death.
Aaron Keefer is not one of these people. He’s intently growing special cilantro renowned for its intense flavor in our Chef’s Garden. (Lest you think “special cilantro” is a euphemism for amazing marijuana, we would like to clarify that he’s growing that at SHF, too.) Cilantro criollo, or Creole cilantro, has been cultivated for centuries in Oaxaca, Mexico, and Aaron made sure to procure seeds from a trip there in 2017.
“It’s a cilantro that goes to a fern leaf frill almost immediately, rather than staying in that flat leaf,” Keefer shared, explaining its unique appearance. “There is less yield, but the flavor is more intense. Plus, it sells for three times the price of regular cilantro.” Cilantro criollo is a model example of the type of produce we will be growing at Sonoma Hills Farm: distinct, flavorful, and best-in-class.
The current crop is being grown to replenish his seed supply, to the delight of chefs across the Bay Area, and to the dismay of cilantro haters.