I’m not alone!

Mon 14 Jul, 2008 at 6:48 pm 2 comments

My mum loves cilantro. Tim loves cilantro. It’s in almost all Indian cuisine in the UK at least, and Thai food and Mexican food. Yuck.

They and 60-70% of the world just don’t get it.

Cilantro tastes like SOAP!! I am so relieved to know that others feel this way too!! If you ever feel this way please check out this site: ihatecilantro.com.

Here are some excerpts:

“In 1979, I was at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan with a pretty large group. We ordered several dishes to share. I took a taste of one, and it was like biting aluminum foil: something was VERY WRONG with this so-called “food.” “Don’t eat that one,” I warned, “Something bad is in it – maybe a little piece of dirty kitchen sponge or something.” Others tried the dish and reported that their portion was fine, but one other woman said something was wrong with hers, too. I guess we just assumed that something yukky had gotten into just one part of the serving dish. But years later, I learned that cilantro is popular in Thai cooking and that about the same proportion of the general population are “tasters” as we were that night.

And what has followed has been years of frustration with people trying to tell me “it’s an acquired taste ….”

Feh.”

“It tastes like soap! It’s bizarre that people like this vile stuff! My mom loves it, and used to put it in everything she cooked, despite my pleas, until she heard somewhere that if cilantro tastes like soap to you, that means you’re allergic to it. Well, before that happened, I had an experience that certainly supported that theory. On my first date with a guy who I had just been friends with for a while, we had lunch at a small Thai cafe, then went on to a local science museum. I hadn’t eaten much of my food, since it was positively TEEMING with cilantro, and although I tried because I was starving, I could not get past the horrid taste. Shortly after arriving at the museum, I began to feel ill and tried to ignore it…until I vomited right on the musical stairs, while my date tried to both hold back my hair and pretend not to know me at the same time.

And yet, dear readers, he still dated me for over a year. Turns out, he hated cilantro too.”

It is so refreshing to know there are others who feel the same way I do!!!

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. elliot  |  Tue 15 Jul, 2008 at 12:51 am

    I don’t mind the taste, personally, so I guess I’m not part of that section of the population to whom it tastes like soap.

    My problem with cilantro emerged when I was the assistant soup TA at Regent. Whenever a soup was made that involved cilantro, it would get EVERYWHERE. And it’s so hard to clean up, because it suctions itself to all surfaces. I honestly think that cleaning up took an extra 15 minutes or so on soup days with cilantro because we had to scrape cilantro off bowls, spoons and the floor with our fingernails.

    Reply
  • 2. sinjii eng sato  |  Mon 23 Mar, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Yeah! cilantro is very tough to clean from things it has dried on to (having had to scrape off the bits myself). I however LOVE cilantro! It clicks in my brain like an opiate drug and I am powerless but to enjoy it. It’s flavor is so very complex it teases my palette as well as the palettes my fellow chef colleagues. We all have used it on our menus in some fashion or another; but yes; some guests cannot handle it and we can usually leave it out happily to give great guest visits. I do know it is a receptor activation that is not common to most people; it having been described to me as soapy or tin tasting. I feel sorry for those whom have to miss out on how great this herb can taste; but there are some that are just not palette mature yet also (esp some younger people whom only had it in a couple cusines and in limited dish types). Some people just use too much in the entree or do not know how to vary and bring out certain subtle flavors in this magial herb. Its about a disiplined execution of flavor intent vs mounding it on in a taco with onions or puting so much in a soup that it turns green. Unfocused culinary execution can make any herb seem too strong and unenjoyable. Over cooking any herb destroys it as will under cooking certain ones. How we handle some herbs also affects them; metal knives chemically react to some herbs that have acidic liquors. My ceramic & obsidian blades are very neutral and are mostly inert like glass. I also have 5 types of motar and pestal from wood to granite to marble which also effects tastes by mineral reactions. Seasoned pans vs non seasoned pans will also affect herb flavor as will the temp of entree when consumed at the table. Certain herbs have more offactory impact at certain temps as well as flavor strength. Dried herbs and fresh herbs both have processing done to them that effect tastes and culinary impact. I appologise if I get a little complex about herbs; It is my passion and career to know these things. Arugula and rocket and watercress are other herbs/greens my guests have on occasion disliked.

    Reply

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