|Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!|
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Visitors contribute their cilantro stories...
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"I grew up in Los Angeles eating every kind of ethnic food, and I swear to you that I never encountered cilantro until 1985, at which point it simply appeared to be in all restaurants.
The first time I encountered cilantro, I thought something had gone bad in my salad dressing. It was disgusting. But my friends were all gushing about how delicious it was. I pushed it around on my plate and said nothing. Sometime later, I encountered it again - in a Chinese chicken salad. Again, I thought the salad had gone bad. But no, it was the cilantro.
Now, whenever I see it on the menu in any dish, I tell the waitperson that I'm allergic to it. It's the only way I can ensure that it's not in my food. If I taste it, I can't get the soapy, poisonous taste out of my mouth."
- GoddessofWine Burbank, CA
"I was a teenager when I first encountered Cilantro. I was at a family reunion, where one of my distant cousins made a salad with cilantro in it instead of basil. How someone could mistake cilantro with basil is beyond my comprehension, but it happened. I took one bite and knew something was terribly wrong. Not only did I gag because of the soapy taste in my mouth, my hands, face and arms started swelling immediately. It turns out that I am, in fact, allergic to cilantro and coriander.
Luckily someone whipped out an epi pen, since it was bee season, jabbed me with it. Within minutes the swelling was gone. I'm still haunted by the vile taste of this so called herb, but at least I have a valid explanation as to why I refuse to eat it.
No one in my husband's family believed me... that is, until I took a bite of my mother in law's curry that included coriander. The same swelling started up again, and I was given a dose of my prescribed antihistamine. Now everyone I know refuses to use it in dishes that I could potentially eat. Finally, people have some sense to stay away from this toxic plant!
- Amanda Galashiels
"Hello...I'd never really used cilantro before and decided to try it today in a big old pot of chili I'm making. OMG! It's horrible! My chili is usually so good and this time it's YUCK! Now I'm sitting here wondering what I can do to it to kill the taste of it, so I don't have to throw out the entire pot. Someone told me to add a little sugar, but I can't do that because I'm diabetic. I'm hoping someone has some suggestions....I hate cilantro and will avoid it like the plague in the future.!"
- Goodatheart Shenandoah, IA
"I love food. I mean it, I love pretty much anything edible. I have a very varied palate and enjoy a lot of things other people find too strong,salty, hot etc.
For years I had the experience of ordering a dish and being absolutely unable to eat it due to an all pervasive ingredient. I had no idea what it was, and came acorss it wuite randomly for quite a while, Each time I would be repulsed to the point of almost being sick.
One lovely day my Mother and I were having lunch in a cafe when there iot was!! stuck in my dish, that ingredient. I quickly gave some to my mother to taste and she said "Oh that's just Coriander". Just Coriander? JUST CORIANDER???
Coriander, aka cilantro, my demon.
I cannot even describe the way it tastes, it isn't too hot, spicy, bland, soapy to me, just foul. There are no words.
My brother also detests it so I am very interested in the genetic possibilities. I agree that there should be a warning on all foods containing this offensive weed. "
- Katherine Melbourne
"I was at AppleBees and i ordered a dish wiht cilantro in it. I had been warned about it but I didnt even notice that the Cilantro was in it. The only person that ever told me that they hated Cilantro was my Mom. She was very stern about it too. Anyway I was 14 years old. At first i though it was a certain part of the dish that was responsible for that taste. But then i got my Mom to taste it and she told me it was Cilantro. I hated it and ordered a new dish since i didnt touch any of the food from the other dish. The taste is stuck in my mind and when i went to a store after eating at AppleBees, i swore the inside of the store smelled like cilantro. But then i figured that was just my mind playing with me. What i took from this was....I HATE CILANTRO!!!"
- Zo , LA
"I am SOOOO hating cilantro right now!!!! All I wanted to do today was make meatballs to have with my spaghetti! SOOOOOo.... I went to the store and bought all the ingredients needed; turkey meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, parmesan cheese, and "parsley.” When I got to the herb section I noticed there was no sign next to the "parsley" so I asked the store manager if the herb for sale was parsley or cilantro. He says, "Its parsley." I purchased it and returned home. I got home and was in the kitchen making fresh sauce and whipping up my meatballs!!! An hour later after everything cooked I decided to dig in and try one of my delicious meatballs! Within seconds the most horrendous taste filled my mouth and as quick as it went in.. the meatball came out!! DISGUSTING! I was so pissed that the "parsley" was really cilantro that I decided to tell my story! I HATE CILANTRO!"
- Robyn Tommaselli Brooklyn , NY
"About 5 years ago, I tried Chipotle for the first time. For those that don't know what it is, Chipotle is a "Mexican" style chain that specializes in burritos and like fare. Chipotle looked superb from the outside; its metal clad walls and industrial look made it appealing to walk inside. Inside, the always delicious smell of steak and chicken wafted into my nostrils but unfortunately, the stench of cilantro did not. Just like what seems to be 90% of Chipotle and Qdoba customers, I ordered a chicken burrito which included the cilantro-lime rice. At this time, I had no suspicions towards the specks of green that garnished the rice.
I was with my brother and dad. After we found our seats, I eagerly took my first bite. It was delicious, savory, and absolutely filling. I couldn't wait to finish the whole thing. However, once I took a bite on the other side of the burrito (where the rice and beans were), I was in for a surprise. I immediately noticed a sharp soapy taste and had no idea what it was. It made my vision spin in circles and I couldn't understand what was happening. After another bite of the rice I soon realized that it had to be the inconspicuous herb in the rice. Loudly, I complained, "What the hell is in this burrito? Doesn't it taste like crap?" My brother and dad had no idea what I was talking about. A realization that their taste buds were malfunctioning settled over me. My brother examined the rice and ate a little bit of it. He asked, "You mean this cilantro? It tastes awesome, what are you talking about?"
Now, I refuse to eat Chipotle's rice in any amount and prefer Qdoba's 3 Cheese Nachos any day. Even after I made a few complaints to a particular Chipotle restaurant, nothing changed.
Whenever I am with friends, I make sure that cilantro stays out of our meals to the best of my ability. Unfortunately I have had to put up with cilantro for quite a while so I don't react to it quite as vehemently as some other members here, but I still absolutely abhor it. Usually, my friends look at me like I'm an alien when I mention cilantro's horrid taste. It's good to know that there's a group here to support each other. Keep on fighting the devil weed!"
"My first experience with cilantro was on asian prepared shrimp. It tasted so terrible to me that I thought it was spoiled and we had the manager (of Applebees) take it back and have something else prepared in it's place.
The second time was in Vegas, eating an asian salad. I thought that the lettuce had not been washed and it was insecticide that I was tasting. Thankfully, the waitress who was a sweet and lovely Spanish girl, had me taste a piece of (what she knew was cilantro) and tell her if that was the bad taste I was experiencing. She was right, and from that time on, I now know to ask if whatever I get has cilantro in it!"
- Maryetta Dynan New London, NH
"I can't say that I remember my first experience with cilantro. Like many people, I had a series of unfortunate experiences in restaurants where I thought the food was spoiled or that someone had forgotten to rinse the soap off of the dishes. Only later did I discover the real reason behind the nastiness -- that vile, noxious weed of the Devil known as cilantro. Now I endure scorn at restaurants, and new friends staring at me like I have a couple of extra heads or eyeballs. I want to point out, however, that I'm an extremely adventurous eater and I like just about anything...but cilantro is the single most horrible thing I have ever placed in my mouth. Ever. And this is coming from someone who has willingly eaten things like chicken feet (they aren't too bad, actually).
Anyway, worst cilantro story. My roommate came home from work one night, and she was all excited. She knew how much I loved new and interesting ethnic foods, and her coworker from Israel had made some funky green dipping sauce. She brought it home for me so I could try it. I smelled something that made me a little suspicious, and asked if there was any cilantro in it. She said that she didn't think so, probably because she's one of those people who swears that cilantro doesn't taste like anything. I remember standing in the kitchen, scooping up a spoonful, putting it in my mouth...and instantaneously feeling as if I'd been kicked full-force in the mouth. I spat -- and we're talking projectile spitting here -- the loathesome mass into the sink, retching horribly, and desperately tried to rinse out my mouth. I couldn't get rid of the taste for hours. My poor roommate felt so bad. :-("
- Doc H Bay Area
Finding the I HATE CILANTRO site has made my day!
I first ran afoul of this awful herb from hell when I bit into a Vietnamese pork sandwich from a little out of the way place in Houston back in the mid 80's. I thought to myself... that's the most disgusting thing anyone has ever thought to put in their food, but I assumed it would be easy to avoid such an exotic ingredient, and I would be safe if I just stayed away from funky asian food.
Silly me... Little did I know that over the next 20 years Cilantro would invade the menus of almost every restaurant on earth. I've been ranting to friends and family for almost two decades the vile cilantro plague, but finding this site, and realizing that I'm not alone... Truly, truly made my day!"
- Round Rock, TX
"I live in the southwest, and have for a long time, but it was only in the last few years that I have discovered why some of the foods I eat taste like soap. It all started when I was eating at a friends house. One person was all up in a huff over the meal. She said it smelled terrible and there was no way she was tasting it. The food in question was a soup and it turned out it had many whole sprigs of cilantro in it. I got a bowl of the soup and ate some but noticed it had a soapy-like flavor. I did not make the connection because I knew nothing about cilantro. I just knew that some parts tasted basically okay and others were not good. After say half a bowl I could not continue and simply opted to eat some of the other food available.
Fast forward to another dinner with the same folks and once again the same girl had a problem with there being cilantro present. This time it was fresh though. The dish was Vietnamese style spring rolls. I never actually put cilantro in my rolls but I ask her why she didn't like it. That was when I was informed that some people taste cilantro differently, badly as it turns out. I mentally noted this but still did not make the connection to my previous soap flavored meals.
Then it happened. I was at Chile's and I ordered the chicken tortilla soup. It came with fresh cilantro on it and when it showed up, I could smell it. I tasted the soup and it was the worst soap flavor to date. Remembering the cilantro girl, I asked the waitress to please make me a new bowl of soup without cilantro. She looked at me like I was crazy! But she did it and I actually got to eat something that tasted good. Unfortunately that cilantro encounter left a bad taste in my mount, literally, for hours. Finally I knew, it's the cilantro!
Since then I have discovered several other friends that feel the same way I do about cilantro and one pointed me to this site. "
- Chris Socorro, NM
"I first encountered cilantro in AZ about 15years ago..It tasted like dirt to me and I couldn't figure out what is was that made my burrito taste like that..A few more times in different food that dirt taste would appear. Finally I was told the chopped green leaf I had thought was innocent parsley was in fact the dirt week cilantro. A co worker made the comment one time that he hated cilantro and I ageed yuck..Now 15 years later the dirt weed is in every darn thing..I blame Bobby Flay for a lot of the popularity of this noxious plant in cooking... So glad to have found your site. I really hate cilantro. Picking it out of dishes is exasperating as there is always a piece in hiding to ruin the next bite..I love to cook and eat. I hate cilantro and think this site needs more publicity. thanks for letting me vent...Patindcnow"
- Pat Washiington, DC
"Going out and getting Mexican is something I take such pleasure in. You just can't go wrong with a helping of salsa and chips before the main course. I am very proud of being able to tolerate the many and varied kinds of things they throw into Mexican food, such as the hot peppers, garlic, raw onions, guacamole, you name it; I am by no means a picky eater. In 1993 my girlfriend and I were both about to graduate from high school and we were eating at Mexican restaurants more and more often. I suggested we go to a new one that was a little fancier and out of our usual price range, thinking that we might upgrade our Mexican experience as a result of the extra cash spent. The first thing I remember was my absolute delight at the Pico de Gallo which looked so freshly prepared that I ploughed a corn chip into it and took a huge bite. My nasal passages instantly constricted from the presence of some toxic inorganic chemical substance, much like inhaling bug spray or petroleum might affect the sinuses, and I had to hold my breath in order to swallow the bite of salsa without regurgitating it onto my plate. The next bite I took was an extremely small one to verify that the salsa was actually deliberately prepared to smell and taste this way. Why would anybody want to experience this utterly overpowering and sour taste in an otherwise perfectly good salsa? My girlfriend didn't seem to notice anything at all and she ate merrily. The taste of this new thing/spice(?) had also now ruined my appetite, and it was all the same because now my steak tacos came out also amply garnished with whatever this filth was. I figured it was some kind of novelty experiment, passing culinary fad, etc and didn't worry too much about it, but it has since become a regular staple in not only Mexican but in every other conceivable type of food as well, with chefs throwing it into everything from Indian to Italian with childlike abandon. The taste of it has now become synonymous with the experience of dining out for me, and in special circumstances when I think I might have a fighting chance I ask the waiter if I could please have my food prepared without any cilantro, at which point he almost always gives me a curious 'look' and proceeds to fail in granting my request in any way shape or form whatsoever. I have learned to tolerate it the way a person adapts to a permanent handicap, but dining out is now an exercise in futility for me and I curse the day this filthy pestilent weed was 'discovered' by the populace and elevated to such status as it has now achieved."
- Josh Houston, TX
"I was probably 10 when I had my first encounter with cilantro. I was at a restaurant, I believe it was a Mexican restaurant. There were chips and salsa on the table and I decided to have some. After about 2 chews, I vomited on the table. It has a nightmare. Something was in my mouth attacking my taste buds viciously. I soon after discovered from my mom that this was cilantro.... which by the way, she loves. I was horrified that there was something on this Earth that was disguised as something edible that tasted like that. From that day on, I avoid the stuff like its a contagious disease...a deadly one. Whenever I go to the grocery store I can't go within 50 ft. of the stuff. I smell it and see it from a far. People make fun of me and say that you're not supposed to even taste it. Well I don't know, maybe I am crazy but the stuff is so strong and absolutely retched. I always told my mom that if she ever brought it in the house I would be forced to flush it down the toilet, the only problem with that plan was that I would have to touch it. Anyways, I think it is safe to say that cilantro should be outlawed. "
- Elia Buffalo Grove , IL
"Most people come here and post about first having cilantro in Mexican cuisines... but not me. I first had it in pho (Vietnamese soup noodles). I was maybe 10 or 12 years old and cilantro almost ruined what is now one of my favorite foods. For the longest time I thought that Vietnamese cuisine tasted disgusting.... it always made me want to throw up. Every visit to a Vietnamese restaurant was suddenly filled with dread. I eventually realized that the stuff making me puke wasn't the noodles or the soup, it was THIS GREEN LEAFY THING FLOATING IN MY SOUP. I scooped it all out and it made a world of difference!! Ever since then, I've been able to enjoy and love pho--as long as the servers remember to remove the offensive plant."
- , CA
"The first time I tasted cilantro, I was at a potluck and it was in an asian salad. I took a bite and thought it tasted like some type of cleaning fluid!!! I asked the girl next to me and she tasted the same thing. We started laughing, and asked others. They said it was just the taste of cilantro! From that point on, I have avoided it like the plague. Why would anyone want something that tastes like Windex in their food??"
- Roxanne Toronto
I need to tell someone about my dislike of cilantro. Here is my story.
I love Chinese food. I LOVE it. Even more, I love noodle soups. I took a lady friend out to a new noodle bar in my city. Imagine how excited I was to find duck noodle soup on the menu! Duck is my favourite dish, as are noodle soups, and to find them combined into one heavenly dish was like God was in the kitchen, smiling and saying I had been good. The menu said it had "coriander" leaves in it (which is what we call it here in good old England), but I didn't know what that was, so I ordered it anyway.
It was set down before me and the aroma of duck rose up to meet me. My eyes closed in utter pleasure and I reached for my spoon. A sparkle came to my lady friend's eyes as she realised she was about to witness something special. And then..."GAK!!" I actually shouted the word "GAK!!!" out loudly into the restaurant. What the hell taste was in my mouth?? Did I misread the menu and order soap instead of soup? I fished around and after trying each item separately discovered that this evil, foul-tasting thing was in fact the coriander leaves, whose taste had permeated the whole of the soup. The horror!!! How could they do such a thing?? IT TASTES OF SOAP, PEOPLE.
IT TASTES OF SOAP.
STOP PUTTING IT INTO MY DELICIOUS CHINESE FOOD.
Like you, I am a rational person, I am very kind to people and animals (except ducks, they belong on my plate) - but I will not tolerate this! It boggles my mind - actually boggles it - when I think that there are people who think "what can we add to make this dish even tastier?" and their answer is "coriander". Why are these people in charge of our menu's?? It is foul, it is vile, it coats the inside of your mouth with a soap-like taste that will not wash out! Please, please, end the madness now!"
- Richie B Norwich
"Alright, I'm an idiot. I knew I hated cilantro, but thus far, I've been lucky enough to only encounter it in a few Asian and Mexican dishes, and in my beloved salsa and marinara. That is, until last night. I was making dinner for my husband and myself. Shrimp cakes, lightly pan-fried and served over a bed of fresh spinach with coconut/lime dressing. Mmmm. But the recipe called for cilantro. A freaking tablespoon of it. I guess my reasoning for including it was that with all the other flavors, maybe I wouldn't even notice the cilantro. I could not have been more wrong. (The smell really should have tipped me off as to the magnitude of my mistake). I raised that first beautiful, golden-brown shrimp cake to my lips... and promptly gagged. I didn't throw up, but ALL I could taste was that horrible herb. I completely lost my appetite and didn't eat dinner until 4 hours later. But I have learned a valuable lesson: ALWAYS PUT SALT IN YOUR EYE! No, wait. It's that I can't ever, ever eat that stuff again."
- Lee Amsterdam, NY
"I don't remember my first run in with cilantro. I grew up in Texas, and love Tex-Mex. But it was actually after returning to New England and trying to find good Mexican that I have run into so many restaurants using cilantro. We went out for my 16th birthday and I ordered a burrito, I had picked the restaurant, I was so excited. The thing was LOADED with cilantro, it was absolutely inedible, I wanted to cry, I was 16 and it was my birthday and the food was ruined. I never return food to the cook for fear of repercussions, so I suffered in silence, except for telling my family.
Fast forward several years to a cookout at my sister's who lives hours away from me. Both she and her husband know of my aversion to cilantro and while they don't share my repulsion, I figured they invited me, there would be food to my liking. Again, no, the salsa and the guacamole were both absolutely loaded with cilantro. I know it was their house and their party, but they did invite me, one would think they would make some sort of accomodation, just as you would for an allergy or a vegetarian or something. I felt guilty feeling pissed, but I had travelled for the event and now I was hungry.
Now happily married, I have made my preferences known to my husband, and at a recent mexican night at my parents, when my brother-in-law happily made his homemade (gag) salsa and guacamole, I brought a few avacados and made my own recipe for guacamole, which is awesome. My hubby tried both and has since exclaimed "You're right, it does taste like soap! He put so much in, almost like he was over-doing it on purpose!" I don't believe he was, he simply likes the vile stuff, but luckily my hubby much preferred my recipe so we will continue to live happily with our non-cilantoed salsas and guacamoles! For the record, no problem with coriander or with cooked salsas that contain cilantro, it is the fresh herb that is so repulsive!!"
- Kim Boston, MA
"I can't remember my first run in with cilantro but I love Mexican food but hate cilantro so I spend most of my time picking it out of the salsa. Sometimes they cut it up so small I can't get it all out then the whole meal is ruined.
To make matters worse, I am a Quality Control Inspector for produce so at least once a week I have to inspect the dreaded cilantro. Try getting that horrid soap smell out of your nostrils after looking at a few cases of it. Yes I said cases not bunches.
I don't understand why flat parsley isn't used instead of the awful tasting and smelling herb.
- Marilyn Pittsburgh, PA
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Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.