Also known as Chinese parsley, cilantro refers to the leaves of the coriander plant, which is native to Europe, North Africa and Southwestern Asia. The soft, hairless plant can grow to 50 centimetres and is cultivated for its leaves, fruit and root. It is an annual plant, with white or pink flowers. It has a strong, refreshing pine and lemon aroma with mint and pepper overtones. Its flavor is distinctive, pungent and earthy reminiscent of lemon and sage. Interestingly, it is also associated with a genetic predisposition: a small percentage of people have a natural aversion to cilantro, perceiving its flavour as soapy and unpleasant. Nevertheless, it is popular in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, South Asian, Mexican, Southeast Asian and Latin American and African cooking.