Our savory, herbaceous Red River Coriander is an heirloom varietal with small, dark seeds. It is aromatic and boldly flavored, with earthy undertones and just a touch of lemon zest. Use it as a finishing spice or add it to dishes that are going to simmer for a long time, so that the nutty, herbaceous flavor is allowed to truly bloom.
This coriander is grown and ground by a collective of Hmong farmers along the Red River in the northern highlands Vietnam. Coriander, the seed of the cilantro plant, is ubiquitous in Vietnamese and other South East Asian cuisines where the entire plant — seed, leaves and roots — are used to season and garnish dishes.
- Sprinkle over root vegetables before roasting
- Combine with toasted chilis, cumin, garlic and tomato paste and lemon juice for a homemade harissa
- Combine with cardamom or orange zest in a Bundt cake
We worked with our longtime partners at DACE, a social enterprise in the northern highlands of Vietnam, to connect with the farmers growing the spices for this blend. DACE works with farmers in the Hmong ethnic minority to transition to growing high-value, heirloom spices using regenerative practices. Farming in the remote highlands of northern Vietnam is not easy. The region's mountainous landscape and climate aren't suitable for producing large food crops such as rice or corn. Growing spice varieties allows farmers to use traditional organic practices on small fields, which are irrigated by collected rain water.
Buffalo Ginger was the first crop that farmers began to grow in collaboration with DACE. The regional conditions and soil quality resulted in an intense, flavorful ginger perfect for dehydrating and grinding. DACE supplies training and seedlings to farmers and sterilizes, dries and grind the freshly harvested spices and prepares them for export. They control the quality of their products and provide meaningful economic opportunities from seedling to export.
DACE, named for the small, resilient river fish of the same name, plays an important role in partnering with local farmers to facilitate these economic opportunities, drive gender equality and move toward more sustainable agricultural practices.