|Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!|
Tell your story
Visitors contribute their cilantro stories...
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"I first ran across cilantro when trying a spring roll at a Vietnamese place in 1990. Up until then, I had lived a wonderful cilantro-free existence.
By 1995, it seemed I could no longer order a bowl of charro beans or simply enjoy chips and hot sauce without the squalid sprout rearing its nasty soap-tasting head.
These days, the herb du jour has become so prevalent that I consider ordering my cheeseburger "with swiss and without cilantro, please."
I'm not above claiming allergies to get the foul floret stricken from my entree.
- Roy Houston, TX
"I spent the better part of 1986 in Mexico, and the worst thing I had to eat down there was a lizard taco. I thought it was the lizard, until I returned to the states, and my roomies held a bit dinner party in my honor. The first course was chicken broth and floating in it was loads of leafy green cilantro, and now I know why lizard tacos taste so awful!"
- Kris Hirst Iowa City, IA
"One time I was eating a burrito and realized I had bitten off a piece of the tinfoil in which it was wrapped. I quickly expelled the metallic shred from my mouth only to find out it was a piece of cilantro. A bit later in life as I was eating another burrito wrapped in tin foil I had the same experience. Becasue the first episode was so ingrained in my emotional memory, this time I realized it was the cilantro and tried to swallow it down as fast as possible, but as I did I realized it did not break down under the weight of my chewing - it was in fact a piece of tin foil.
That's when I realized that eating cilntro and chewing on tin foil were in fact the same experience."
"Unlike most of the stories I've read, I started out neutral on cilantro. I have no real opinion on the taste, but there are some definite unpleasant associations there. Whenever I get that taste in my mouth, be it in Mexican food, Thai food, Indian, new-age mango salsa fusion stuff, whatever, I have a particular memory flash back with vivid detail.
It was Christmastime. Myself, my wife, and some friends had been out making merry. I decided I liked white ale, despite the odd tang of coriander. I liked it lots. I also liked the egg nog. These are two things that do NOT mix.
The flavor of cilantro and coriander evokes an image of the gallons of white ale, a dark, freezing ally, and a nasty hangover. Cilantro is not the enemy in this case, but it is dead to me."
- Mike Kenosha, WI
"One lovely Florida day I was out having some quality mother-daughter time with you guessed it--my mom! (Funny how that works.) Feeling the hunger coming on we popped into a resturaunt with a chic take on a retro diner.
We ordered. Waited. And then out came the food.
Half way through my wrap something just wasn't right. The taste. The texture. That funny feeling in my tummy followed by the a slight headache and a warm sensation flowing through my body. Food poisoning? Nah, couldn't be. After closer inspection of my food I discovered that no longer is cilantro just a herb, but it's also a leafy green. Or at least that's how this place's kitchen staff had decided to use it. Yes folks, there was more cilantro than lettuce on this puppy.
I only wished I had stopped after that first bite. But having had no real prior experiences with the stuff, and despite the unpleasent taste, my hunger had led me down a rotten path.
After leaving the place things only got worse. Much worse. Slight hives. A migrane. The sweats. And a lovely trip to a McDonald's bathroom to deposit my lunch. I spent the whole two hour ride home layed out in the back seat as misserable as counld be."
- Laura Washington, DC
"I don't have a very refined sense of taste, so I can't really say I'm that offended by the taste of cilantro. But - it always gets stuck in my craw. I really hate that. I feel like I'm hacking up a hairball after eating some otherwise perfect Vietnamese noodle salad or an innocent-looking spring roll. If you put a petition in front of me for banning cilantro, I'd sign it. "
- Steve Minneapolis, MN
My Cilantro story is interesting, as my first run in with Cilantro was not to ingest it, but to inhale it. Before I go on, this is NOT a story about smoking cilantro :)
I worked at a very large food distribution warehouse in the chicagoland area. My job, other then to run over stuff with a forklift, was to drive out into the warehouse and grab individual items from large pallets of product and ship them to customers as a quality control sample. This job usually had me up about 40 feet in the air, standing on the forks of the lift and monkey swinging to the proper pallet.
One day, we got a new client. I don't remember the name but this was a dehydrated foods company (based in germany). Since our warehouse distributed to all major supermarkets, I assume those of you in the midwest have had their dehydrated ingredients in a lot of your favorite foods (you would be suprised!).
As I was helping to put the 20,000 boxes of various dehydrated vegetables in their proper racks, I noticed a large amount of them were labled "CILANTRO". I was only 16 and living in the suburbs.... There were no mexican restaurants, or Thai restaurants. So I had NO idea was Cilantro was.
Lo and behold, a day or two later I was tasked with 20lbs of samples from the various lots of the Cilantro. 10lbs from the chopped (or whole) boxes....and 10lbs from............DEHYDRATED CILANTRO POWDER!!!! (lightning). My boss hands me a surgical mask and says "Try not to breath to deeply". "Ok" I say, no big deal... I've had to take plenty of samples from other food items (Dehydrated HORSERADISH POWDER...that took off about 5 years of my life :).
Little did I know that Cilantro powder is crushed so fine that it is exactly the same as powdered sugar. When I cut into the 50lb bag it exploded in my face. The most disgusting smell and taste filled my senses. I started to cough and realized that it actually hurt to do so. I bit my lip and quickly scooped out as much of the stuff that I could.
after I was done, my eyes and nose were burning. Not as much as the horseradish powder, but still enough to notice. My eyes were tearing with irritation so I wiped them with a napkin. dark green tears. My nose was running dark green liquid. my sweat was dark green and to make matters worse the powder had seeped inside my clothing. (picture a bunch of funny latino union forklift drivers speeding around the warehouse yelling "Green eggs and ham!" every time they saw me....I should of kept my mouth shut :)
It was a couple of years before I moved to the city and regularly ate Thai and mexican food. Every time I ate some I had weird flashbacks of inhaling unhealthy amounts of the powder. "
- Shaun Chicago, IL
"I hate the taste of cilantro when the plant is flowering only. I attribute this to the Coriander flavour but can't verify as i don't go near the stuff anymore on account of the terrible flavour over-powering even strong flavored spices/herbs such as garlic and staying in my mouth for hours afterwards. But for some weird reason (seemingly without the flower) i've eaten meals with non-over powering cilantro. Please explain!"
- Paul Calgary
"Though I hate cilantro I can acknowledge, but not condone, its existance in culinary dishes of such countries such as Thailand, Mexico, Spain and India to name a few.
However, under no circumstances whatsoever should cilantro ever be found in Japanese food. It was such an instance at a local restaurant that I found cilantro in my miso soup.
Is nothing sacred?"
- Pandora Austin, TX
"I hate cilantro. There, I've said it. I live in New Mexico, where the New Mexican food doesn't have cilantro, or at least it didn't used to. The cilantro wave hit and what used to be perfectly good salsa is completely ruined. Anything that is supposed to be "fresh" or raw seems to have cilantro in it any more. Whenever I happen to ingest any, everything else I eat tastes like it and I continue to taste it for hours. Luckily, I don't have the allergic reaction some of you seem to. My wife loves this vile substance and buys it from the store and eats it fresh. I won't kiss her when she does. I didn't learn this until after we were married.
I like coriander, however. That is the dried seed pod, sort of like a peppercorn, of the same plant that is cilantro. I also hate cumin or comino, a distaste I inherited from my mom. It has the same effect, tainting anything else I eat, haunting me for hours. Unfortunately this is also often used in Mexican food, but usually more in the Tex-Mex variety, bleahgh.
I vote for stink bugs as the closest taste to cilantro."
- FactWino Alburquerque, NM
"I had always had the impression that I must be the only person in the world who doesn't like coriander leaf (is this what you mean by "cilantro" -- I've never heard it called that?), so it's actually quite refreshing to discover that actually many people hate it! It's funny, though: I rather like coriander seed."
- Michael Abbott Oxford
"when i was about 6 y.o. my divorced father had a guatemalan maid who cooked "authentic" meals, most of which prominently featured cilantro (usually in lemon juice, WTF? it's not bad enough alone?). he had custody of me every other weekend, and i usually didn't eat anything the whole time i was there. a few times i pretended to be sick to avoid going to his house just because of the food, and once i even ran away (to the arcade down the hill from our house) rather than go to casa de cilantro. it didn't help that he was a cold man who never showed me any affection, and i think he was an alcoholic too. he was an angry man would curse at me in spanish sometimes when he got drunk. but i bet it was really because of the cilantro"
- Joe Sf, CA
"I read an article about 10 years ago that changed my life. It explained that people like me (intelligent, thoughtful, beneficent people who DESPISE the odious taste of the disgusting herb) actually may have an enzyme which is responsible for making Cilantro taste so god-awful to us. The same enzyme makes Sweet and Lo too sweet...which is the case for me. Anyone else find that to be true? "
- Marinasaurus Castle Rooooock, CO
"I eat everything. I mean everything, except cilantro or coriander. When I was a teenager, my friends observed my eating habits and challenged me to eat a bicycle. I did it. I melted down all the parts into bite size pieces and ate the whole thing. No big deal. I eat Cilantro/Coriander and feel like I'm going to die. I get violently ill and am bedridden for weeks."
- Todd LA, CA
"I eat anything or so I thought before a glorious two week trip to Cozumel about 15 years ago. One of those pre-paid eat and drink places. Anyway, first lunch was a buffet loaded with great looking Mexican dishes.....I piled up and was ready to gorge. First bit and the cilantro kicked in. I didn't spit it out, but swallowed and almost threw-up. So much for that item. Next bite the same thing....I tossed the whole lunch out. I thought the food/chef was the problem, but shortly discovered the heavy use of cilantro was the culprit. I ate eggs and dessert for the two weeks there. Since then, especially at Mexican restaurants, I now question what dishes don't have the C word in them and order that. The single most disgusting herb God has put on this earth. "
- Jay Fa
"I made the totally F'd mistake of following a recipe from a really famous TV "COOK/CHEF" and managed to ruin about a Kg(2Lb) good beef plus multiple portions of other ingredients required to perform this so called delicious "FOOD".
In Australia it is commonly known as CORIANDER has been introduced as an essential ingredient for Asian cooking.
This would appear to be the latest form of the birth control , as you cant even stand the smell when going to bed on your own, no one else will. -- but maybe the Nasal receptors of these people just do not work. Other references I have read have probably described the various perceptions of its smell , but all seem to be an indication of the age and "DECOMPOSED" state of this rubbish."
- Nocrapfood Perth
"I've got too many stories about this repulsive substance to relate, and I just absolutely cannot believe how some people love it, and actually pay money for it and use it purposely in cooking. It's simply disgusting, and tastes like something you shouldn't be eating. And it's a downright shame cause many of my favorite cuisines (Thai, Mexican, Indian, even Chinese) use freakin' cilantro liberally. Now being a gourmet cook, I like many foods/flavorings that take lots of getting used to by most people, and I am also very open to trying new, foreign, or unusual foods (to give you an idea of this, one of my favorite dim sum foods are 1,000 year old eggs!). But cilantro, NO. I cannot and will not tolerate this nasty, evil excuse for an herb. Even if something I am eating has only a little of this stuff, I will either throw the whole thing away or send it back. And even if you are able to get all the flecks out, which is virtually impossible, the demon flavor is still there, trust me. So, my fellow cilantro haters, here is what I think would be the best solution to our problem: to do what I do, that is cook your own Mexican/Thai/whatever kind of food, cilantro free:) If you don't know how to cook, learn to...it'll be well worth it. Before too long, one of us will come out with a cookbook, "International Cooking, Cilantro-free". :)"
- Amanda Washington, DC
"So I was about 18, eating a burrito, and chomped my way into a long sprig of green. Being of the voracious kind, I prompty pulled the foliage into my mouth. Then the foul weed made its true intentions known.
The fractions of ounces of cilantro juice that weeped from the stem proceeded to coat my gums and tounge. Within about 2 seconds I had emptied my mouth into the nearest garbage can. I was slightly nauseous and disoriented. Cilantro caused a general and uncomfortable visceral response from my mouth to stomach. My enemy had played his hand.
I have managed to avoid this plant-based kryptonite in foods (finally my OCD was coming in handy). However, I was walking in the produce isle one happy day when the produceman shook out a wet bunch of cilantro before placing it on the shelf. I must have been over 10 feet(AT LEAST) away but managed to be struck so strongly that I had to lean forward in a vain attempt to fight the nausea and disorientation that immediately followed.
I wonder what it is about fellow anti-cilantro pioneer biochemistry that causes such a strong reaction to the plant? What compounds in the cilantro are predominantly responsible for it's allergic effects, etc? E-mail me if ya know! And may all the forces of good shield you from this green menace!"
- Phil San Jose, CA
"A few years ago I began experimenting with my cooking. Until that time I had only made the occasional hamburger helper for my mother. I decided to try something simple, like a chicken tortilla soup. Exotic enough to strech me, simple enough that I could pull it off the first time around. I bough cilantro, having no real idea what it was, and chopped it up to put in the soup. Oddly enough, although I did smell something unusual, it didn't seem vile...at first. It wasn't until I took my first big hopeful bite of soup that I realized what I'd done. "Mom, something was rotten in the soup!" I said. She laughed, tried it, and said it was delicious. Surprising, coming from someone who finds basil to be "a bit too out there." I drank as much milk as I could stomache, put the rest of the soup down the garbage disposal, and tried to get the now-nauseating smell out of my hands and clothes. I have to catch myself, now, because I tend to lose respect for someone who says they like cilantro."
- Shannon Madison, WI
"I suppose I should consider myself one of the lucky ones. I managed to avoid all contact with cilantro for the first eighteen years of my life. This is largely due to two accidents (or blessings, if you will) of my childhood. 1) I was born Korean, to a traditional Korean family, eating traditional Korean food, i.e., nary an opportunity to see cilantro, much less taste it; and 2) I grew up in a suburb of New Jersey, surrounded only by non-cilantro eating peoples (mostly Italians & Irish, a few Japanese & Koreans).
Then I got to college. In California. In case you are not aware, California is the cilantro capital of America. It happened in the dining hall. I can still remember, it was a creamy pasta dish, something akin to Fetuccine Alfredo. Yet there were little green flecks of plant matter in it. "Well," I thought to myself, "it's just the cook trying to be a little creative with his Italian herbs. A little parsley never hurt anyone!"
Oh, the horror. The horror.
Having never been exposed to the vile weed, I had no idea what was causing that awful taste in my mouth. I logically assumed that the cafeteria staff simply had not bothered to thoroughly rinse my plate during the last washing, and therefore soap was left on it. After one or two more disgusting run-ins with the C-bomb, I realized it was not the result of careless dishwashing. But the nightmare still had not come to an end.
Because I didn't know what cilantro was, I didn't know what it was called, and therefore I COULD NOT KEEP IT OUT OF MY FOOD! For years I suffered because I did not know the name of my enemy."
- John Los Angeles, CA
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Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.