|Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!|
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Visitors contribute their cilantro stories...
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"I was at a "hot spot" in Ann arbor, MI. The only items that looked good on the menu were the mexican items. There were no ingredients listed, no mention of cilantro in the description. For a long period of time, there was no cilantro. Cilantro is something that has become "cool" to put in your menu items. It may be that cilantro likers just like the name; or think that it is exotic. WELL..IT IS HORRIBLE. The worst plant, the worst ingredient, the worst food that I have ever tasted. Just a spec will ruin an entire meal. So, I got a bean burrito, and asked for no cilantro. It came back with cilantro hidden in the beans. I asked for another one without cilantro, it turned out that they it is mixed in the rice, the beans and the salsa...impossible!! I ate fries and have never been back since. I use to manage a Chipotle Mexican Grill. They put cilantro in their salsa, guacamole and rice. Some people would ask us to make to use the white rice behind the counter instead. I always sympathized. I use to prepare their cilantro with three times less cilantro than it called for...shhhhhh...don't tell. I use to have the prep people mix it without cilantro first and put a cup for me on the side. I actually think that I'm allergic...."
- Shannon Ann Arbor, MI
"I lived 40 years before I encountered cilantro, then I visited a Thai restaurant. I thought for a long time I was just being finicky. But I do gag on cilantro. And I mean this in a medical sense. When it is in my mouth I feel like I will throw-up. So it is physical not mental. When people say it is like lemon or lime, I honestly don't know what they are taking about. And I love lemon and limes. I must say, however, that at most restaurants the waiters no longer think you are crazy when you say "NO Cilantro!" Thank you all for your support.
Ron in Minnetrista, Minnesota"
- Ron Engle Minnetrista, MN
"It was in Portugal about 12 years ago at a restaurant. I ordered a sea-food + rice dish. It was looking great with that "green" on top, thinking it was parsley. I am the type of person who eats all kind of food, specially vegetables, salads, and all kind of green. I taste it, and then I had a strange feeling never felt before, a nausea feeling. I taste again and again and I just could with the taste. Then I try to take away some of that "green" and the taste wasn't so bad. Then I took a piece of the "green" and there it was. It was just like a vomiting herb. No way to remove all the pieces from the plate, there were all over. I call the waiter and asked what it was and she said to me it was "alantejala" or at least it sounded like that to me. Of course I will never forget that portuguese word, and my adversion to cilantro. Recently in a trip to Panama, where cilantro is in every dish, I found out that from a group of 10 we were 6 that we would rather starve than eat cilantro and another one wasn't very found of it. And I thought I was the only one in the World. Now at a restaurant I always say that I am a bad allergic to cilantro so not to put any, and it works."
- Ni Salamanca
"I wanted to learn how to cook. More than anything I wanted to be a wiz in the kitchen. I made chicken-lime soup as a test for my first real meal. The final ingredient, a pinch of cilantro on top of each bowl served. I tasted the soup and was devastated. My dream of being a good cook was obviously futile. It was awful. I spent went months eating at restaurants or warming up processed food in the microwave. It wasn't until months later that I realized my culinary abilities were not at fault. Rather, the vial weed known as cilantro. It nearly killed my dream. Now I get as much joy out of cooking (without cilantro) as anything else in my life. Cilantro nearly ruined it all. We must warn the others."
"I must admit to all "I used to eat cilantro" There it is.. out now... But one day eating it.. I felt different.. off.. The next time.. again different.. off.. The next time.. without provacation.. my throat swelled almost shut and I had asthma attacks all night. OMG!! This pest of a taste does not like ME!! The nerve.. So the white gloves are off... I tell every waiter I see to make double sure that vile weed is not on my plate. And now this site.. priceless. "
- Ginger Tannery Houston, TX
"I will never, ever, ever forget my first taste of Cilantro. It was way back when I was a young girl of eight, an innocent child still, and my mother took me to a Russian friends place (near the Russian River in California of all places!). I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I found myself heaving and throwing up behind the friend's summer cabin and having a bad taste in my mouth that wouldn't go away. I do remember being a picky eater and trying to resist a strange looking soup with pearl barley in clear broth, with strange bright green leaves. As I had refused all other food, maybe I wasn't feeling well, but I was forced to eat the soup as it would be good for me! Well, HA-HA, it wasn't...it tasted like soap soup. (after reading other's descriptions of cilantro, I see why I balked at eating this dish and I've stayed away from eating soap soup ever since.) Russian food is great and I don't know where the cilantro derived from. Since then I've avoided cilantro, easily,until a few years ago when the country went cilantro crazy and not just in Mexican Restaurants. On a happier note, our local, wonderful Mexican restaurant in Makawao, Maui, called Polli's, stopped putting cilantro in their food. I complimented the server on their wisdom and it turns out that the owner despises the stuff! However, I still have misguided friends who try to sneak the stuff in the potluck dishes they make you try, for shame!"
- Kathy Kula, HI
"I've lived in Texas all my life and have fought the cilantro battle for many years. I recall the first time I ran into it was at a restaurant names ZuZu in Dallas back in the mid-eighties and since then that disgusting weed has expanded so rapidly it's almost taken over the planet. There's a special place in hell reserved for the person who got the cilantro movement started among the chefs. Who on earth convinced them that cilantro was trendy and that it tasted good for heaven's sake! Talk about a salesman! Cilantro is the most disgusting substance ever created. It's one of those God questions for me -- why cockroaches, why disease, and why cilantro?
Cilantro is vile, disgusting, and nauseating. My son, my mother and two of my three sisters share my cilantro sentiments. Not only do we hate it but we are allergic to it as I guess most who hate it are. What it causes for us is a bad case of "cilantro lips". Within a few minutes of accidentally (we would NEVER eat it on purpost!) eating cilantro, our lips start itching. Within an hour or so they're swollen and itching worse. Then they crack, bleed, peel, and continue to itch insanely. There is no relief for the curse of cilantro lips no amount of makeup will cover it. The misery lasts a good two weeks, sometimes even longer. When we go in a restaurant we grill the waiter incessantly about any dish that may have even the tiniest amount of cilantro in it. We tell him that we are so allergic that if cilantro even gets near out plate we could die and he should immediately call 911. We found this gets his attention much better than just ordering a dish "without cilantro". We mean business and he gets it!
What bugs me most about cilantro is that every chef in the universe seems to have jumped on the bandwagon to force it down our throats. It's in every restaurant, every cuisine, and now even in drive-throughs. Italian seems to be the last safe haven to dine cilantro-free, but who knows how long that will last! As for foods, the only safe items these days are desserts. The only chef I've seen take a stand on cilantro is Ina Garten, "The Barefoot Contessa" on Food TV. She says she personally detests cilantro and always substitutes basil or parsley. Like I said before, there is a special place in hell for the person who got this disgusting stinkball started with the chefs!"
- Kay Plano, TX
"I became aware of my cilantro "allergy"/deep-seated, pathological hatred rather gradually. Over the years in my early twenties during the salsa movement introduction I began to notice a steadily increasing bad reaction to the tast of something in the salsa dip and other Mexican-type foods. The final straw came when I visited a Mexican place with friends and ordered a dish that had raw cilantro as a garnish. Within two minutes of one bite I felt the most incredible discomfort, burning, stingy sensation along my jawline, throat, nasal passageways. My mouth watered dangerously and the inside of my throat felt as if it were swelling. I sat there trying to regain control and trying not to vomit or pass out. I have not intentially come near this horror show since (about 20+ years). I tell people/places I am allergic. It tastes like hell on earth in the guise of the worst dish soap + iron + acid I have ever experienced; to be honest but gross, vomit is preferable. I can spot it like a Great White can spot a juicy surfer on the Great Barrier Reef. When watching food channel or the like, my soul virtually cringes when some nutcase chops up this weed and adds it to a perfectly awesome sounding recipe!! I recall hearing Julia Child also detested cilantro, describing, as many seem to, it tasting like vile dish soap.
Cilantro haters: we are in great company!!!! I think this website should petition the FDA to require cilantro warning on food labels; this could truly kill someone in all seriousness."
- LeighAnn Windsor, CT
"I went to the grocery store and decided to try a new salad mix. I decided on the baby herb mix. I even tried a new salad recipe. As soon as I took my first bite of this beautiful looking dish, I immediatly was disgusted! My gorgeous salad tasted like my dish detergent! I really don't know how I know what my dish detergent tastes like, but I do. Yuck! My husband did not find the same offensive taste to this dish, but my mother and daughter were both truly grossed out!"
- Virginia Port St. Lucie, FL
"UGH!!! My first experience with cilantro...in all fairness, i had probably had cilantro before, in a salsa, or perhaps a burrito, could taste it there, but had no idea what it was, until i went to a traveling tournament softball game with my daughter, and all of the families got together for a pot luck. One of the other mothers brought me some chips and salsa. "You just have to try this!" I looked at what she called salsa...it looked like it had been beaten to heck with a food processor, and it was green...not chili verde green...but bright, lawn clippings green! Not wanting to be rude...i tried it. As soon as it was in my mouth i wanted to spit it out, but of course i could not. I swallowed the foul mixture, somehow managing to not gag. For the rest of the day that taste lingered in my mouth...no matter what else i ate,drank, how much gum i chewed, or how many mints i comsumed. It was only after i got home, brushed, flossed and mouth washed several times that the offending flavor was finally gone. Who ever decided this stuff was edible? Really? Now i can't even walk past the stuff in a grocery store with out wanting to gag! I feel better now! I love this site! Cilantro Haters Unite!"
- DefLepRox Hayward, CA
"Several years ago,we were having friends over for a visit and my husband prepared fresh salsa which apparently had fresh cilantro in it. He asked me to taste it before everyone came over to see if it lacked anything or if anything was overpowering. I immediately tasted soap in the concoction and asked him if maybe he hadn't rinsed the bowl he prepared it in properly leaving a small bit of dish soap in it. He denied that and said that the salsa tasted fine to him. When our friends arrived they tasted the salsa and they said they loved it. I was sure they were just being polite because when I tasted it again, all I could taste was a soapy flavor. I avoided the salsa for the rest of the day.
Years later, I was reading about certain foods online and in one blog I read that cilantro tastes like soap to some people. I was so glad that I wasn't crazy! I also learned to definitely steer clear of cilantro!"
- Maureen Philadelphia, PA
"I hadn't encountered cilantro until about 25 years ago (I was 30) and went to a Vietnamese restaurant with my girlfriend at the time. We had an appetizer that was mostly raw cilantro, and moments after eating it I had a reaction that was exactly like the one you get when you smell ammonia. This still happens, in dose-related degrees, when I accidentally eat the stuff. I haven't known anyone else to have this particular reaction, but I was amused when, during a recent hospital stay, I had a red band on my left wrist [for listing allergies] and it just said in big letters: CILANTRO. It almost was like I was advertising the stuff..."
- Candomarty Oak Park, IL
"We had just moved to South Dakota and one day while shopping we stopped and got a couple of burritoes to go. I was starving and couldn't wait to unwrap my food.
At first I did smell something "off" but like I said, I was starving and took a huge mouthful. Oh my sweet Jesus! This ungodly taste filled my mouth, throat and even my nostrils! I couldn't breathe, I couldn't chew! I spit it back into the wrapper and just about died in a fit of coughing and gagging. It took about 30 minutes before I was able to breathe normally.
Finally hubby explained that the burrito wasn't tainted. No I was not going to die. It was the cilantro I was tasting.
Since that day I have found it in quite a few foods. Now I am on the lookout for that evil green weed and will do a complete check before taking a bite.
Seriously, how can anyone eat that crap??? Seriously???
- Joanna Watertown, NE
"I had this misfortune of trying cilantro when my mom's boyfriend from Guadalajara made us dinner. The food looked amazing but as soon as I tasted it, this sickly sweet-metallic taste permeated my mouth and nostrils. I couldn't finish the food, and eventually found out what the root of the taste was. Cilantro!! And my mom and her boyfriend love it!! I thought I could trust these people! "
- Laura Evansville, IN
"I knew I hated cilanthrax before I even tasted it. We were with friends at their favorite restaurant in Denver and I had ordered the 'fish pot'. It looked fantastic on the menu, I was starving, we were on vacation - couldn't wait. Finally the food came. I took off the lid. The fetid stench of cilantro immediately killed my appetite. Others at the table took a sniff and informed me: "Oh, that's cilantro!" with that glazed "and we think it's Yummy!" look in their eyes common to most cult members. 'Cilantro'.. Now I knew the name of this most foul thing. Since that awful day, it seems cilantro has spread faster than the Andromeda Strain throughout America. Today, I found this web site, and I know I am not alone. I know there IS hope. Change IS COMING America!!"
- Cilantrash Lincoln, NE
"My husband and I were traveling from South Carolina to Kerrville, Texas for my aunts 89th birthday party. We use her birthday as a time to reunite with family, as she is the last living sibling of my father's family. All the other cousins were coming too.
They came from Fla. and Ohio. A couple came from WV and we of course from SC.
My cousin had moved to Texas where the area had milder weather for her and her husband, but especially for my aunt as she is stricken badly with RA.
We are all from the East and Mid-West, i.e., Ohio. So we all wanted to get the full experience of being out West and wanted to taste everything we could, that was native to Texas and the cuisine.
My Husband I had stopped at a very nice retaurant before we got to Kerrville that advertised "authentic taste of Texas".
I order the chili of course. I make killer chili (very good)and wanted to compare to see it they could hold a light to mine.
When it arrived I saw the green leaves and thought it may be parsley. But they were cooked in with the chili not as a garnish. OMG!!!! When that taste, that god-awful taste hit me I was overwhelmed with nausea and almost didn't make it to the bathroom on time.
I was sick for the rest of the stay. Every time I hiccuped or had the slightest burp I could taste that cilantro. I thought I had some sort of foreign virus as I had never tasted anything as disgusting in my entire life. I actually thought it was food poison because of the after taste.
I love Mexican food, but if they even as much as chop my other veggies with the knife they have used on cilantro I can taste it and get violently ill.
I bet you this; if you put a horse or cow to graze in a field where it is grown they would not touch it.
My other cousins had similar reactions as I, but I was so sick from that god-awful weed I would not serve it to my worst enemy!
That's my "I hate cilantro story" and I am sticking to it and spreading the word. I would rather eat ground up pine needles!
- Wanda Swain Duncan, SC
"My mother, brother, and I always had an intense dislike of cilantro. It's not that it tastes bad, it actually tastes inedible. I learned to just avoid it as much as I could and thought nothing more of it.
When I was 19 and living with a new boyfriend, we got drunk one night. In my inebriated state, I ate an entire tub of cilantro salsa.
Within an hour, this is what I looked like http://www.flickr.com/photos/28883151@N00/3071759442/. Apparently, I'm allergic.
I wasn't scared because I could swallow and breathe okay, but he was terrified, thinking that I was going to look that way permanently. The swelling eventually went down and I now avoid cilantro not just because I dislike it, but because I fear the next allergic reaction could actually kill me."
- LaurenIpsum San Francisco, CA
"I haaaaaaaaatttttttttteeeeeeeeee cilantro!!! The first time I ever had cilantro was also the last. I was eating some asian dish from a local japanese restaurant, and since I had never had cilantro before, I was SO not prepared for what was before me. I bit into my food and OMG!!! What the ----!!!! My mouth was being assaulted by the most disgusting taste I had ever had in my mouth! I gagged and blew it right across the room. Everyone was grossed out (understandably so), but I just had to get that god-awful taste out of my mouth! My eyes watered, and I could even feel it in my sinuses! It tasted like a mixture of perfume, mothballs and rusty nails. I drank about a gallon of water and ate a tube of toothpaste just trying to get rid of the taste. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the food so I complained to the manager. When I described the taste to him, he just laughed and said it was the cilantro.
People really eat that crap? On purpose?
It should be fed to criminals to get confessions.
Thanks for letting me share my feelings about cilantro, the 'devil-weed'."
- Blondathewitch Bridgewater, MA
"I was at a client lunch and was so excited about the Thai peanut chicken salad that I had ordered from The Cheesecake Factory. I had never eaten there before and I love anything (or so I thought) with peanut flavor. So I take a bite and I'll never forget the sensation of iron in my mouth. I truly thought that the restaurant had put a foreign substance in the salad and I could barely swallow the bite. I was totally miserable because I was hungry and really wanted the salad but could only pick at it. I couldn't undertstand why it tasted so bad because it seemed to have all the ingredients that I love. I told a colleague about my experience later and she suggested that it might have had cilantro in it--an herb that I had never heard of before. Since that time, I always tell the waiter at a new restaurant that I don't want any cilantro IN the dish or ON the dish. Whenever I forget to say that, it's INVARIABLY included. I hate it with white-hot heat of a million suns. Thanks for letting me vent about it. Great to find your site of like-minded cilantro-haters!"
"I'm glad I found this website. To read like minded people relaying their experiences must be akin to alcoholics unburdening their problems at an AA meeting.
I've adored Indian food for over 40 years now, however it wasn't until 1978 when some work colleagues and I went for an Indian to celebrate a birthday and that was the first time I encountered the dreaded Coriander(Cilantro). I can only assume that the trend - in London at least - started about that time because prior to that I cannot remember tasting this vile leaf. It completely ruined the meal but I wasn't aware until a couple of curries later that it was the innocuous green leaf that was the guilty party. To me the taste was like somebody had poured the contents of a small bottle of Chanel, or some other perfume over my food, or ground down up a bunch of tulips and sprinkled thereon.
Perhaps in the event that cilantro lovers accidently run out of the dreaded leaf, then I feel the perfume option would be an acceptable alternative. Maybe they could replace Olive Oil on their salad with Chanel No.5 as well.
Sadly, it's not just Indian restaurants that liberally spread this disgusting leaf, even worse are the Thai restaurants. I envisage the day will come when I stop off for a full English breakfast but will have to insist "No Coriander please!"
I believe Stephen Fry once said on TV that he had an aversion to this stuff. For those of you around the world who don't know him, Stephen is a well known TV personality in the UK. It would be nice to get him to do a blog withis his wit and command of the English language.
- Steve G. London
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Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.