|Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!|
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Visitors contribute their cilantro stories...
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"It was November 2004. Our friends were getting married soon. Guests were flying in for the big event. We were expecting our fourth child and first daughter, and all was right with the world. Before the big day a couple of our fiends invited us out for dinner. With soon to be four small children, going out to eat was a rare and much cherished event; not to be taken for granted. We went to my favorite resturant. This had all the makings of a perfect evening. My favorite appetizer was the lobster potstickers. MMMMMMMM, so good! I decided to order two appetizers to serve as my entree. If the lobster potstickers were so outstanding, then certainly their seafood dumplings would be just as fabulous. Finally our food arrived. I was eating for two and my hunger pangs reminded me of this. I picked up a steaming seafood dumpling with great anticipation. I prepared to feed my soul and nourish my unborn child and took a bite. My mouth reacted instincitvely by rejecting the horror that had just been placed inside it. I think I felt the baby puke. It seems that unbeknownst to me "seafood dumplings" consist of two things. A small amount of seafood, and a possibly illegal quantity of cilantro. They were vile and there was no faking it in the name of table manners. Evening destroyed. The sheer nastiness of it still haunts me today. A little vomit just came up into my throat just thinking about it almost two years later. Seafood dumplings: so much potential ruined by such an unearthly substance. Surely this was Mother Nature's idea of a bad joke. How could something so gross be considered edible?
Evening destroyed. The sense of utter dissapointment I felt that night still haunts me. "
- Courtney Honolulu, HI
"We were working in in a squatter town outside of Lima, Peru, and I was 27 years old. Having lived in Lima for a year, the Peruvian diet was antyhing but French cuisine: rice, boiled chicken, and any time they had the chance - cilantro. Cilantro in soup, on chicken, over trout (that came from Canada). Now, I had the misfortune of eating uncooked chicken with cilantro and became violently ill with food poisoning, or clostridium botulism. For days I vomitted, and when finally feeling better, I headed out for some good soup, which also was topped with cilantro, and an egg which gave me food poisoning for the second time within 10 days. Finally, after this recovery, I ate once again in the same area of Mira Flores Peru and made the mistake of having chicken with unrefrigerated mayonnaise, and obtained food poisoning for, yes, the third time in less than three weeks. Somehow, on each occasion the smell of cilantro was so strong that my olfactory memory would not let go of the odour of what some of you refer to as 'doll's hair.' The following Thanksgiving, in Toronto, my brother served the turkey, with a side of cilantro, and I had to run to the bathroom with the very real sensation of vomitting, due to the memory flooding back. Ever since, I have hated cilantro, and still cannot stand the sight, and even more powerfully, the smell of the rotten little coriander plant.I support your disdain for cilantro, and I HATE CILANTRO TOO!!"
- Terrance Galvin Montreal
"Every time I taste cilantro, I go "what is that? what is that spice? I hate that flavor, what is that!?" -- and whoever I'm with always goes "cilantro" ... that is my cilantro story"
- Brian Rosenworcel Brooklyn, NY
"At my high school i had to grow a plant for one of my environmental science projects. my teacher suggested cilantro beacause it grows qiuckly and then i can eat it when i was done. so i thought it was a great idea- a good grade then a tasty treat after. so i went home and chopped the cilantro (it smelled HORRID) then took one bite and threw the whole plant away. i never want to even SEE cilantro again in my entire life!"
- Kayla Morgan Lomas, CA
"I had encountered it back east almost never, but my first terrifying cilantro experience happened in Taiwan. I was with a friend in a street market, and he bought us some fried "bricks" of some kind of pork fat on a stick. It was then dipped in oil, then chopped peanuts, and then chopped cilantro! I asked him what it was, and he didn't want to tell me because I might be adverse to how the meat was prepared (he spoke onlya little English, and me no Taiwanese, so we had some translation problems with food)-- little did he know that it was the cilantro I feared! I tried my best to be brave, but after 4 bites of suffering, it just got too overwhelming. The cilantro taste had me in a sweat, and I had to stop and try to calm myself into not throwing up in the middle of a crowded Taipei street market. Everyone was already staring at me since I was the only caucasian for miles around...so I didn't want to make a scene. The panic faded and I had to tell my gracious host that I couldn't it any more. I told him it wasn't the meat part, but the green stuff I couldn't handle. I don't think he really understood, and I felt like an idiot.
Since then, I've moved to California, and it is EVERYWHERE. I resent having to make a big deal at almost every restaurant I visit to ensure that my meal isn't ruined. Even worse is when some dishes say that there is cilantro, so you (unwisely) assume that if it isn't listed, it's not in the dish. Then your heart sinks when it comes - with minced cilantro throughout.
Fortunately, I've discovered and bonded with many of my friends who share this sane assessment of this vile herb. "
- Stephen San Francisco, CA
" Last evening my husband and I went to an upscale Mexican restaurant to celebrate our 28th anniversary. The complimentary salsa came with cilantro in it. After just a bite, I realized that it contained that horrid, pungent, stinky weed, and gave the rest to my husband. The rest of my meal was great, but here it is in the middle of the night and I can't sleep. The cilantro taste just keeps coming out of my mouth when I breathe, and it has spoiled our celebrating as my honey stinks so badly that I can't contemplate kissing him.
The thing is, I go to Mexico on yearly mission trips and eat authentic home-cooked cuisine made by Pastors' wives. They DON'T put cilantro in everything! It is used as a side garnish, and I've been able to avoid it. We're supposed to be flexible and do whatever is asked of us on these trips, but when it is time to chop food for meals, I'm always busy doing something else. I learned the hard way--I chopped a huge portion of it once, and couldn't get my hands clean enough for 2 days.
It's horrible! Eschew cilantro! Yuck!"
- MImom Vicksburg, MI
"I travelled through Thailand on the way to a conference in Srilanka. I discovered very early that the restraurants added corriander/cilantro to everything so in the hope of getting a cilantro free meal I ordered a hamburger via room service. You guessed it it was full of the stuff. I went hungry. Even the smallest amount makes me want to heave. I was amazed to find this web site. I thought I was alone. "
- Dj Perth
"The first time I tasted cilantro was when it came with a vermicelli noodle dish at a Vietnamese restaurant one of my (former) best friends brought me to. There was a large pile of cilantro on top of the noodles and my friend said it was the most wonderful thing she'd ever tasted, so I took a large bite too thinking it'd be like a cross between lettuce and parsley. I'm sure I turned green and was stricken with a look of pure horror. I'd never had such a disgusting taste in my mouth. The minor bit of good news however, was that the cilantro was in large pieces so was easy to see and could therefore be easily removed from my plate. Since that time though, cilantro has become a mainstay of all types of foods of every ethnicity. Even worse, they tear it up into small pieces and spread it liberally throughout all meals. The little pieces are everywhere and are too small to remove. I need to bring a pair of tweezers with me now when I go out for dinner and spend the first 10 minutes of every meal trying meticulously to get every last drop of that green poison out of my food. But unfortunately you can never get it all and then, horror of horrors, you'll be enjoying a fabulous meal (perhaps Inidan food or Mexican food) and get drop of cilantro in one bite and it'll turn that otherwise wonderful bite into an assault of bad taste so severe you want to run to the nearest door and spit it out ASAP. Cilantro ruins everything it touches and I don't know why this isn't patently obvious to everyone. I'm so glad to find out that there is a large community of like minded, clear-headed, food-enjoyers out there who are trying to do something about this terrible malady that has afflicted our nation. Something must be done to stop this!!! Thanks for your help in this very important fight against good taste!"
- Rochelle Seattle, WA
"I lived in Tokyo before I turned seven. Those were the only cilantro-free years of my life since Japanese people do not use the stinky weed. Shortly after my family moved to Taiwan, I smelled it. I’d eat in the living room, which was in the opposite end of the house, every time my mother had cilantro in the kitchen. I can always smell it from afar. I can detect it from a sniff. I can detect it from one small bite if it was mixed with something. I have given up countless dishes and soup because they were contaminated with this deadly weed. My family moved to San Francisco area when I was thirteen. While I love all the ethnic food in the area, it seems there is no escape from the stinker. It is found in salsa, Indian dishes, Thai food, pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), Chinese dishes, etc. ERRRRRR
Most of people look at me like I am crazy when I try to pick out the green pieces floating in my soup. I know I am not crazy, and seeing this site is another proof that this green weed must be destroyed.
- Lina Mountain View, CA
"Actually, I love cilantro, but I once tried cooking something for my 95-year-old father and added cilantro and he said, "What did you do to this? It has a funny whang!"
So I never forced him to taste cilantro again."
- Ratzkywatzky Seattle, WA
"If you're looking for a way to get guests to leave after they've worn out their welcome, start serving them cilantro! In everything! Cilantro can screw up any meal ever made. My favorite Mexican restaurant started using it liberally recently, and even put it in when I asked that it be left out. I'm thinking of initiating a lawsuit. I consider that cruel and unusual punishment."
- Greg Bean, NJ
"I've always despised eating cilantro/coriander for as long as I can remember. Here in Malaysia, it is also known as chinese parsley or "wan sui". But we just call it by its local Hokkien nickname, which translates to "smelly/stinky grass".
Probably my first encounter with it was at some Thai restaurant, where they garnished their dishes with raw sprigs of the vile herb. I abhor cilantro with every fiber of my being. The smell makes me shudder and the taste of it literally makes me gag till I'm on the verge of puking.
Fortunately, cilantro isn't too popular here and its use in Malaysian Chinese cuisine is not too extensive yet. The Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese dimsum restaurants however, are a major headache, since they tend to add cilantro to a lot of their dishes.
I'd have to order carefully and ask to make sure the food doesn't contain cilantro, otherwise I'll end up having to pick out as much of the chopped cilantro bits as possible (doesn't really work, cause once it has been added, the awful taste will just taint the whole dish).
A few of my friends think I'm over-reacting about my strong cilantro aversion and they actually gush about how they love its "delicious, fresh and interesting" taste. Urgh..."toxic" is how I would describe it.
Thank goodness my family unanimously shares my strong distaste for cilantro, so no problems there.
"I forgave Martha, but never got over the cilantro.
I was a young-married-with-no-kids-type-gal back in the innocent 1990's. I read Martha Stewart Living faithfully and one summer afternoon I decided to try her recipe for grilled prawns with (gag) Cilantro dipping sauce. Not ONLY was the sauce 99% cilantro leaves (much like a pesto) but the shrimp were also coated in a cilantro paste before grilling - I had NO idea what I had gotten myself into. Being a naive newlywed, I had invited another married couple to dinner in our garden, as soon as the shrimp hit the grill I knew there was trouble a-brewin' - I smelled that distinctively stinky cilantro stank rising into the air - like a bad chemical burn singing my nostril-hair - EW - but I decided to stick with the program, after all, would MARTHA steer me wrong? NEVER!! So, the REAL kicker was tasting the shrimp AND dipping it into the disgusting cilantro stank sauce - OH THE HORROR OF IT ALL! I have never since eaten cilantro - if I see or smell it anywhere in my vicinity, I SHRIEK in HORROR and run away. Now, I'm allergic to shrimp (and I blame cilantro for that- I think it was the combination of the two that did me in) and I CLAIM to be allergic to Cilantro when I dine out - because I WILL have an allergic reaction if it gets near me - manifesting in very loud SCREAMS OF HORROR! Ew. "
- Lara Albuquerque, NM
"I actually used to like cilantro until my horrible experience. I was eating a fajita salad at an Applebees restaurant and unfortunately got a bad case of food poisoning from it. Well spending the whole rest of the day and all of the next day vomiting, all that I could taste was cilantro and you all know about that horrible aftertaste it leaves anyway. What a horrible nightmare. Since that day I can't even smell the stuff without feeling my stomach turn. Yuck!"
- Naomi Colorado Springs, CO
" I simply urge you my brethren stay strong in this crusade. For, one day history will show that it was we few who stood strong against the storm, who refused to give in, who lifted up our fellow man into enlightenment and who finaly rid the world of the greatest evil man has ever know. We stillhave along road ahaed of us until that day. But, know in your harts that it will come. And, on that day, as we finaly rejoice and lay our burden down to rest, on that day, we will at last be free."
- B.B.C. Denton, TX
"My first experience with Cilantro goes down in history as the worst day of my life. I was about 15 years old and had just begun to dabble in Mexican foods - mostly because of peer pressure. Anyway, with friends urging me on I grabbed a chip and dipped into the salsa. As soon as it hit my lips my taste buds went into shock. I thought i was immediately going to throw up. I choked back the chip and salsa and tried to act cool in front of my friends. I pretended to like it. As teenagers are, they pressured me to eat more. I finally broke down, started crying, and admitted to my hate of cilantro. It has since made my life miserable. I lost all of my friends over cilantro. I have learned to be proud of who I am and stand up for what I belive. I hope this site gives hope to people in my situation. DOWN WITH CILANTRO!!!!!!!"
- Posey Seattle, WA
"We have some dear friends from El Salvador who put Cilantro in EVERYTHING! Yuk! It tastes like they spilled chlorine in the food. Guacamole, Salsa, Soups... everything I would love if it didn't have the overpowering flavor of Cilantro!
I saw the chart on what folks think cilantro tastes like, but I am not sure what catagory I fit into. I think it tastes like a cleaning product, but not quite like soap to which I would catagorize rosemary which tastes like something you should use as a deoderant.
What a hoot to find your site. I can't wait to forward your address to our friends. Are you listening , Sonia?"
- Jeff DeVore Tallahassee, FL
"I'm happy to say I've contributed to the Cilantro-hating moevment by creating new members - literally. I've hated cilantro all my life and my friends and family mock my hatred. Well, recently we were eating burritos with my 18 month daughter. Unprompted, she picked up a piece of cilantro, put it in her mouth and promtply spit it out and said, "YUCKY!" I can't tell you how proud I was that day."
- Julie Redwood City, CA
"I'm originally from Oregon, but we moved to New Mexico for a few years when I was a kid. There, "salsa" or "hot sauce" meant "pureed chiles," and I loved it. But by the time I returned to the West Coast, "salsa" there had morphed into a kid of sloppy salad of chopped onions, tomatoes, and...yeccchhhhhh.
The first time I actually tasted cilantro, I didn't know what it was. I was at a burrito joint that made otherwise fabulous food. The logical reason for a burrito tasting like Palmolive was, I concluded, that dishwater had made it into the food, or hadn't been rinsed off well enough at some point in the cooking process. But when it happened again, I realized it was something deliberately added to the chow by some evil troll. By the process of elimination I quickly discovered it was that screwed-up mess that passes for salsa.
Every time I object to cilantro in a restaurant, they act like they've NEVER come across this problem before. I'm going to print out the "taste" chart and take it with me! One burrito chain has now taken to infusing their rice with chopped cilantro...another chain grinds it into their guacamole...so you have to gag it down or do without. And now, as other alert posters have noted, it's crept into other cuisines as well. What kind of culinary fascism is this? Stand up people!!!!"
- Roving Thundercloud Portland, OR
"For a long time I didn't know it was Cilantro that I hated. I would sometimes smell or taste it and go, "what is that disgusting smell/taste?" The worst offender is my Mom's Spanikopeta. Whenever we had a church potluck she would make it because I don't eat red meat. She would tell me, "I'll make something for you to eat," and then it would be Spanikopeta. I would try to choke it down because she made it especially for me, but I just couldn't. After finding that same flavor in other things, I finally asked her what it was and learned that I hate Cilantro! The worst part is, I asked a Greek friend and Cilantro is not even a normal thing to put in Spanikopeta. My mom just uses it because she likes it. BLECH!"
- Stephanie Hudson, OH
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Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.