|Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!|
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Visitors contribute their cilantro stories...
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"What a relief to find a group of like-minded, right thinking people in this world. I am ALLERGIC to cilantro. By "Allergic", I don't imply an aversion or intense hate on religious or moral grounds.
It started when I was 23. My soon-to-be-Ex (towards whom I may also have been allergic) repeatedly cooked with this poisonous herb. It took years to decipher the root cause to the following symptoms:
1) Blisters the size of mosquito bites erupting all over the body.
2) Similar blisters lining the underside of eyelids, causing intense itching of the eyes.
3) Blisters erupting inside the ear canal, rendering me incapacitated of any activity other than itching furiously for hours with 2 Q-tips.
4) Contraction of the air passages and inability to breathe.
Would one sell tear gas or cyanide at the produce aisle? Heck no! This poisonous substance needs to be FDA-controlled."
- ThisIsBadStuff San Carlos, CA
"Cilantro = Nasty
I too, have been traumatized by the vileness of cilantro. It is the most heinous tasting thing EVER.
Ever since I tasted it in California as a 14 year old, I have hated it. Yet, I never knew what it was until I was about 18. I just knew that whatever it was made me have a gag reflex. It was very prevelent at Chili's as well - in the pico de gallo...so then I stopped getting anything w/ pico de gallo. But I realized soon enough that CILANTRO was the culprit.
It is in Thai food. It is in Tex Mex...bad enough. But now, it is some sort of trendy herb..umm I mean vile weed, that restaurants put in EVERYTHING. California Pizza Kitchen puts it on everything! Gag me with a spoon!
Now, every time I go to a restaurant, no matter, what I'm ordering, I say, "That doesn't have any cilantro on it, right?"...and I make them check.
Because cilantro is the one thing, that is VERY hard to pick out of your food, and can turn perfectly edible food into garbage. It makes me vomit.
- Melissa Atlanta, GA
"I was 21 and teaching English at a teachers' college in China when I first encountered this unexplainably foul taste. Now, before I even departed for this country on the other side of the world, I'd decided that I would try everything offered to me . . . twice. Thus, I've eaten pig's intestines, whole shrimp (legs and all), and even sea cucumbers - all without complaining! But, then, the nastiest thing I'd ever eaten and was glad to leave behind. It was a soup dish with a fish from the local river laying in the bottom of it. You just pick of some flesh with the spoon as you ladle out the soup. I thought, "Wow! I didn't know that I hated fish so much!" I was polite and refrained from sharing my opinion. I just thought that the fish had gone bad or something.
The strangest thing happened, though. When I returned to the States, I experienced that wretched taste again! The problem was that there was no fish in this dish. Why did it taste like soap or deorderant? (My friends tease me for saying such a thing. "Why, have you eaten deorderant before?" "NO; but this stuff tastes like deorderant smells!") I finally discovered that it was those harmless-looking little green flakes. I just had to find out what those things were! Cilantro. Okay, so it wasn't only in China.
Then, I had a German chef-friend who used it in his Mexican dishes. Mexico is vexed with it, too? How unfortunate! Now, I can't get away from the stuff! Why must all of the restaurants ruin perfectly good food with Cilantro. No thanks; I think I'll pass."
- Kristina Colorado Springs, CO
"my boyfriend got me into trying lots of new foods... it was great since i had pretty limited/picky food preferences.
i kept coming across this taste though... i couldn't pick out what it was, and couldn't really decide what it tasted like. it just made me think "dirty water." i kept coming across foods with that "dirty water" taste and it was totally offensive and turned me away from a lot of things i could have liked.
finally he had me try chipotle... there it was again!
i went to chipotle twice, trying it, and thought i HATED it. finally i realized it was the rice that had the dirty water taste... and he told me the rice was covered in cilantro.
i picked out a small piece of cilantro and tasted it -- this was the culprit! this is the guy who offended my tastebuds and skewed my opinion of all these wonderful new foods.
from that day on i've been extremely anti-cilantro and i voice my opinion as often as possible.
chipotle with NO RICE, okay."
- Jessie.rae. Edgewood, MD
"My last encounter with cilantro, I think I might have dislocated my jaw trying to open it wide enough to get it out of my mouth. I may have done permanent damage. My dining partner laughed so hard, I think cilantro came out of her nose. I've been so traumatized by it, I haven't been able to eat Thai food since...
Why would anyone want to eat something that tastes like soap?"
- Nicebroom East Windsor, NJ
"Well, we ordered a barbequed chicken pizza (they can be dodgy, but the good ones are unbelievable) from a rather expensive local pizza parlour.
It had cilantro in it.
Not only cilantro, but ginger as well.
I tried to reason that it wasn't that horrible, but every mouthful just made us exceedingly nauseous. Who the hell... I mean, just who the HELL puts cilantro and ginger on a chicken pizza? Or on ANY pizza?!
- Agnetha Vancouver
"I'd only rarely come across c****** a few times in my youth growing up in the East Coast; I'd recognize the taste, but couldn't identify it. And of course, no one else knew what I was talking about. It wasn't until I moved to California 15 years ago and ordered something at a Round Table Pizza, and suffered the consequences, that a friend let me in on the hows and whys of my nasty little secret. Since then I've suffered alone; c******* always seems to pop up without warning whenever I'm the hungriest. Now that I've found this website, I'm coming out of the closet (about c*******, that is) and will be more proactive. From now on, I will no longer fear returning c*******-containing food back to the kitchen! If chefs don't know about the dangers of c*******, how will they ever learn, and when will we get treated fairly?"
- Mark Redlands, CA
"While travelling around this amazing world, I sat down to a great looking meal on a calm beach under a thatched rooflet in Thailand. Took a bite and wow, needed to get that horrid taste out of my mouth. I'd never hated a food before. This was awful. Offensive. Vile. It had to go!
But what was it? I set out to learn, finally realizing it was the very, very tiny green stuff in this dish. Putting a bit in my hand, I took it to the kitchen and asked, learning the Thai name for it. For the duration of my travels through Thailand I knew how to say "no cinantro" in Thai. (I forgot the word now. Sorry.)
I loved Thailand, but was happy that upon leaving I'd never have to deal with that awful taste again.
And then... I ended up living in Los Angeles.
Ugh. Cinantro is in nearly everything in LA! Even in Italian! I cannot go out to any meal and order without asking if they put Cilantro on it. I spent 6 months in India and never had Cilantro. Here, it turns up in Indian. Why? Why to chefs think it's the coolest taste to hit the world. There have been times, out with friends, where the chef has had to come out and figure out the one thing on the menu that didn't have Cilantro in it for me to order.
I certainly hope that Cilantro-in-every-food-in-LA is a bad fad that will die out. 16+ years and still hoping it's just a fad...
But perhaps the worst was going back to my native NYC and finding it turning up there. It's spreading!
We can't have honey peanuts on airplanes any more, but our food is infested with this green hell food. Go figure.
The madness has to stop! Chefs - listen please. Many of us hate Cilantro! It's not cool."
- Deborah Shadovitz Los Angeles, CA
"I really need to get something off of my chest regarding cilantro. I have been angry about this for so long, that I feel relief to have finally found a forum with some sympathetic ears: Why do Cali-Mex food chains like Chipotle and Qdoba mix CILANTRO into all of their rice!!?!?? I don't know about Qdoba, but Chipotle doesn't even have non-cilantro rice hiding in the back, at least at the outlet near my old job. So many people hate cilantro. It makes absolutely no sense why they would create a situation that makes it impossible for any of us to consume any of their food. I would happily wait for normal rice, just like I would happily wait for a plain hamburger at a fast food joint. They should at least make non-nasty rice an option. Ugh. No one I know understands how foul cilantro is. They say "oh, so you think it tastes like soap?" I would much rather eat a bar of soap than eat cilantro. Thanks for listening. "
- Beth Somerville, MA
"Oh, disgusting, vile plague that assaults the palette like essence from a mountain of sweaty rotten gym socks soaked in floor wax, how I abhor you!
Cilantro, coriander, chinese parsely, you have proven that the devil still has a strong grap on beings of this world. To taste but a flake of your foul foliage is what one can only imagine it must be like to lick Satan's armpit.
My love that was one so strong for the fine culinary delights from our Indian, Thai, and Mexican cousins has all but vanished, only to be replaced by constant disappointment and a finely-tuned gag reflex.
My tortilla chip is no longer heaped with delicious tomato, onion and peppery goodness that salsa used to offer. Even simply wetting the chip with the afflicted concoction is often too much.
My vocal opposition to this abysmal waste of chlorophil is often met with scoffs and rolling of eyes. I am completely convinced that the only surviving life forms after a nuclear fallout will be cockroaches and cilantro."
- John Washington, DC
"I was at a vietnamese restaurant. I ordered Pho (a noodle soup). Previously, I had had a nightmarish experience with cilantro IN my soup!! Can you imagine?
This time, I specifically asked the waitress to NOT include ANY cilantro.
She came back with my soup, seemingly cilantro-free, but I could still TASTE it, even if I couldn't see it.
Seeing my confusion, the waitress told me that the chef had put in some cilantro at first, but upon seeing my instructions, took it immediately out.
But it was too late for me! The disgustingness of the cilantro had INFUSED into my soup!
NOO! I cried.
(I didn't really, but I was crying inside).
It was the worst day."
- Rebecca Chapel Hill, NC
"I am absolutely overjoyed to find this site. I honestly thought...I was the only person in the world who hated it. I'm not sure if it's a genetic problem, however. My mother and father (my grand-mere especially) always ridicule me for my intense hatred of the herb. And yet, most restaurants are simply not decent enough to list it as an ingredient on the menu!
My grand-mere, a...well a very good cook (she had hopes of becoming a chef at one point...why does it seem that the chefs are always so incredibly defensive about the virtues of a heaping handful of cilantro?!) She...every d*** year tries to weasel some into a dish. And of course, no one else in my family understands the hatred...the utter disgust of the herb. They get angry when I say frankly "grand-mere, I despise cilantro and all that it stands for. You are a great chef, but cilantro is from hell!" I'm forced to ingest it...in...well, my opinion at least one sprig is a large quantity. I can taste it in anything.
She made an absolutely wonderful dish last thanksgiving...save for one thing which really tainted my like of most things she cooks...I got one bite with a leaf in it...and I was sent wretching.
Is it so rude to tell people that what they cook isn't bad, but their choice of ingredients is terrible? I don't think so! And...well I'm just so grateful to find people who feel the same way..."
- Maddy Cibolo, TX
"I moved from Carlsbad, NM to Sandy, OR and expected the same culinary delights as those found in the southwest. You know, Hatch chilies and spicy red enchiladas and the tongue-cooling, palate pleasing taste of good tacos. To my dismay, Oregon has converted to Baja Mexican food. The main ingredient...cilantro. Cilantro on everything - no chilies - no heat - no heartburn. Just something that tastes like soap covering everything. So lift high your forks you lovers of real Mexican food and demand - no cilantro!"
- Paul Sandy, OR, OR
"I cannot remember where it was that I first injested the evil herb (probably blocked it from my memory as a autonomic defense mechanism), but I do remember the reaction from my body. Belching for two days is not a fun hobby. Now I am not afraid to bring my own blissfully cilantro-free salsa to Mexican restaurants or to ask for some other sauce if I forget to bring it. I have discovered that some really great sauces are lurking back in the kitchens just waiting for a cilantrophobe to ask for them.
Once when going out to a holiday breakfast with my group at work, one woman who knew of my disgust for the evil herb made up a NO CILANTRO sign for me. The year before I had ordered a Mexican omelet which was contaminated with the green scourge. Large warnings should be on every menu item and product that contains cilantro.
I firmly believe that the same person that brought Kudzu to the American southern states brought cilantro to our shores. Thinking about that person almost makes me want to condone torture. I crave Mexican food and love Thai food, but I an contantly vigilant lest a deranged cook slip a single leaf of the vile garbage into my food. I am so glad that all of you cilantro haters are out there. I don't feel so alone any more. "
- Ronster666 Long Beach, CA
"I was working as a courtesy clerk at an upscale grocery store in Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto,CA circa 1977.
A customer who's groceries I was bagging told the clerk that they had forgotten to pick up a bunch of cilantro, at which time I was instructed to go and retrieve a bunch for them in the produce section. Upon my return, I asked said customers what the herb was used for. She reported that it had an incredible flavor that could enhance most dishes. The woman then broke off a leaf and offered me a taste. I thanked her put it in my mouth and smiled saying that she was right, it did have a wonderful flavor. I then excused myself and went straight to the Brach's candy display to get a something peppermint. The taste was so vile that I can still remember 30 years later, my introduction to this noxious herb. I can't remember in what year my wife and kids were born, I can't remember in what year my parents passed away, I can't remember what year it was that my 49ers last won the Super Bowl, but I can remember my first brush with the distasteful weed. Being a big Mexican food fan, I still have to keep my guard up at all times when ordering. Comments from the Taqueria owner saying that there is just a little cilantro in the guacamole don't fool me, because there is no such thing as a little cilantro. I luckily have found a taqueria owned by an El Salvadorian who never uses lard or even worse cilantro."
- Jim San Carlos, CA
"Sadly, while I dont have the resources to browse through the teeming hundreds of stories, I'll tell my tale, although, I am certain there are many like it. Rather than bore you with just another taste=throwup style tale, I'll describe the courage tantamount to climbing Everest that I had to put forth, just be near the dreaded leaves.
As if admitting the vile weed into the U.S. wasnt bad enough, we have a local 'restaurant' (and I use that term very loosely) called: you guessed it: CILANTRO'S. I dont know if its more than just a local deal, God-forbid its gone national, and if so...be forewarned...you wont be able to walk by without getting shot in the face by a perfume of the sickly air.
I have to admit: my wife is a fan of the poison (although I did not know this pre-proposal, there isnt much I can do about it now...even the best divorce laywers say its not grounds for dismissal), so she talked me into stopping in. I kid you not: they have cilantro in EVERY SINGLE THING THEY SERVE. They even serve little cups full of nothing but pureed, green weeds, so you can pour even more of the gak on top of whatever weed-laden entre's they serve. How in the world they thought that french-fries with cilantro on them would be a good idea, I'll never know, but in the end...I just couldnt bring myself to eat at the establishment. I had to hightail it across a parking lot and eat in a shoddy Wal-Mart deli to keep my body pure (going on 5 years now...cilantro free).
The moral of this twisted tale is this: I am not saying there is a conspiracy, but if there is...I believe it with all my heart, that some sick branch of the world order is trying to get us to add the mind-controling substance into our bodies of our own will. Dont do it...dont succumb to the spicy green weeds."
- Ryan Salt Lake City, UT
"I first ran into coriander/cilantro at an Italian restaurant on Fleet Street in London in 2001. I had spag with a tomato sauce that was supposed to include basil. Instead I had some herb that tasted like bitter wax and it ruined the meal. I never went back to that restaurant, but visiting Indian restaurants later I realised the herb must have been coriander. If in an Indian eatery nowadays I always ask if the dish I am about to order contains coriander. If it does, I ask for something else. But I was ambushed last week at a Japanese conveyor belt restaurant in Canary Wharf in east London. It is called Itsu and I go there often to eat sushi and sashimi. I ordered a Miso soup and immediately detected the ghastly taste of coriander. The staff offered to serve me a Miso without coriander but I declined, had to go back to work. But why mix Indian and Japanese cuisine? I complained to a senior manager at Itsu whom I know. She said they had gradually moved coriander from dishes over the past year following complaints by customers. She sent my comments to their food development department.
- Rolf Soderlind London
"my first cilantro experience was at a mexican restaurant shortly after i discovered the delights of salsa then i recieved a small pottery dish at a restaurant that after the first taste resulted in my friends opposite me boltiing to their feet enraged at what had happened to the fronts of their clothing as a result of my having sprayed a mouthful of chips-pieces and vile red ooze across their chests. cilantro was, i learned, the reason. i of course did not b lame myself. i blamed my friends who i am sure knew full well that any cilantro dish presented to another carried with it an obligtation to inform the person it contained cilantro. i have also learned that while this warning may once in a great while come from a fellow gringo, it will never come from a mexican. mexicans are convinced cilantro is delicious. something to think about for those harboring any lingering resentment toward the proposed fence."
- Jj Solari Arcadia, CA
"I am not sure where and when I first realized cilantro sucked but now it in almost evey cafe and bistro dish. I guess it seems trendy to teh unintiated but for me it taste like rank weed mung. There ought to be a disclosure on all dishes containing this noxious herb and a law drafted and ratified that states its OK not to sprinkle cilatro on a 'chocolate sunday' just ebcause its trendy. IT is a cilantradgedy the profliferation of this rag weed makes it onto so many plates and must be confined only to regional delicacies from which it sprang! "
- Brian Hollywood, FL
"Chinese Wall of Cilantro
My cilantro-addict Chinese wife saw a promo for your website today, and I have to say that finally I have found a group that shares my great passion in life - a hatred for Cilantro.
My first time my taste buds were brutalised by this noxious substance was on visiting a chinese friend's house for noodle soup. We were sitting down for lunch and when I put the first mouthful. Between the my body's instinctive reaction to spit the contents of my mouth all over the table, and my desire to be a polite guest my brain just shutdown. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to chew a bit more and swallow the toxic green leaf.
At the time I was trying to find work in China, so I reasoned that as so many people enjoy it, maybe it just takes time to get used to it. Six months later, after eating a little cilantro almost daily I moved to Chengdu in Sichuan province.
Living in a remote Chinese mining camp,the canteen cook always placed a huge bowl of freshly chopped cilantro as the centrepiece of the table. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. I couldn't even enter the canteen, let alone sit down at the table with that pungent smell. After they noted my reaction to cilantro, my Chinese colleagues used to think it was great sport to sneak up behind me and shove the bowl of freshly chopped stuff in my nose. I was the only person they'd ever met who didn't appreciate the fine taste of it. They stopped after I completely freaked out after a 15 hour workday in a fit of low blood-sugar rage.
I did persist with smaller doses, but after 2 years gave up ever trying to get used to it. I can taste the tiniest flake of the stuff.
Then I went and married a wonderful Chinese lady who loves the stuff as much as I hate it. Whenever she has friends or family over, it reappears in wholesale quantities and I just disappear for a while (usually to buy pizza). So I find myself constantly surrounded by a seemingly unclimbable wall of cilantro.
Just knowing you guys exist gives me the courage to persist. Vive la resistance!!
- Eris Brisbane
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Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.