|Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!|
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Visitors contribute their cilantro stories...
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"HOLY SHNIKIES!!! What is with these cilantro eating foolios?!?! Seriously i almost died the first AND LAST time i ever tasted it. Some chump in a "fancy, shmansy" resturant (if it can be called that) decided to put cilantro on my chicken cilantro pizza! Idiot!! I ordered the Cilantro-Chicken Pizza WITHOUT Cilantro, if I had wanted cilantro pizza I would have ordered it!! ok to the point of the pizza. I almost puked and my anti-cilantro girl wouldn't kiss me for two weeks. Any horrible weed that can do that to a mans game should be exterminated!!"
- Rodney Walker , UT
"I like "Tumbleweed" retaurants. Actually, it's more the atmosphere than the food, since I am fully aware that they specialize in southwestern cuisine that often contains some amount of cilantro. So I stick with the usual... Bison burgers, steak or their yummy sweet potatoes. The service there is always good and they present you with tortilla chips with either hot or mild salsa. Up to this point, I have always enjoyed their hot salsa.
My husband and I dined there recently, and knowing that I never had a problem with their salsa, I dug into the dip. This time when I became repulsed, I didn't need an explanation as to why. When our waiter came over, I asked him when they started adding cilantro to their salsa. He said "Oh, it comes premixed in bags without cilantro, but we add it ourselves. It's really good that way, isn't it?" I told him that cilantro has a toxic, putrid taste to a certain subset of the population, and I'm one of them. I asked him if he ever got other complaints since they started tainting the appetizer with this noxious herb. He said "No, I haven't, and I've been here for several months." I told him that they should offer people a choice, "cilantro or cilantro-free". Then I asked him if they had some nacho cheese dip that I could have instead. He said yes, but apologetically added that it too, has cilantro in it.
I took a comment card home with me to fill out. I will be sure to add (along with my praise for the service and the food that I ordered) that I am highly disappointed with their decision to kill the salsa... and now, the nacho cheese!
Meanwhile, I'll continue to patronize them... they don't put cilantro in the menu items that I prefer. But from here on in, I'll order carefully and with suspicion!!!!
- Trish Dublin, OH
"my first run in with coriander i was 18 - i was out with a girl i desperately liked and so as to seem exotic and interesting, i suggested we have thai food. upon taking the first bite of my meal, the most vile and overwhelming taste almost led to me spitting it out right onto our (shared) plate. i gagged the mouthful down, no idea what the problem was, and to my amazement, my date actually appeared to enjoy it! i was shaken to the core.
it took me several years to find the disgusting, repelling culprit. i've been on my guard against it for the past 10 years but it's insidious, hiding in your food and NOT ON THE MENU! argh!
i've been asked many times if i had some kind of bad coriander experience in the past - yes, i have. every time i have ever eaten it has been an atrociously bad experience.
people look at me doubtfully when i try to express the depth of my disgust - "try this, i bet you won't even taste the coriander". they clearly don't realise the gravity of the situation. they just don't see the danger.
- Dana Auckland
"Why I hate cilantro.
I first detected cilantro in the form of coriander when I was about 16 or so. My father had taken me to an Indian restaurant and I ordered lobster tandoori. Something just wasn't quite right, but I felt obligated to eat it anyways. We went back another time and I thought I'd perform a small scientific study. I ordered the same thing, but minus a spice. I don't recall what that spice was, but that weird taste still remained. The next time I went (yes, I went three times), I ordered it again, and under the waiter's advice, minus coriander. Bingo!
To avoid future misunderstandings, I learned how to say it in Hindi (dhania). Even still, I have almost always had to send it back the first time because they forgot. Oh well, it's only in Indian food, I can live with that. God, was I wrong!
I used to live in San Diego, a place that tries to keep up with all the latest fads and fashions. I don't know what started the trend of cilantro, but I think it might have originally been due to a drop in price. It started as a seemingly harmless garnish swap, where parsley was replaced with this exotic cilantro. Then, all of a sudden, it was in my food, not just loitering on the plate. The breaking point was when I ordered a tuna melt, one of my favourites, and some muppet-chef thought it was a good idea to add cilantro to the tuna! Cilantro in tuna salad? Now, even when I order pancakes, I go through this whole, "Is there any cilantro in or near this dish?" just to be on the safe side.
My husband and many of my friends think I am a big, picky baby about this (I also hate raw tomatoes, which are in everything as well, but easy to remove. As you can imagine, salsa fresca is my absolute nemesis). I am NOT overly picky! I just really hate cilantro and it's not my fault it happens to be ubiquitous nowadays! I try to explain to my cilantro loving friends, that it tastes like soap. Yes, soap. So, imagine if dish washing liquid was the unlisted ingredient on the menu and you wanted to avoid ordering those items. That's how it is for me. On a side note, it's odd that people either love it or detest it with very few cases of those who think it's just ok. I chalk it up to genetics.
Anyways, I found this site after heating up a frozen burrito from Amy's only to find that it had cilantro in it. It is now gutted and growing cold on my kitchen counter. Was cilantro listed as an ingredient? No, but "spices" was. Is it too much to add the word cilantro on the list? Garlic had its own listing, after all.
I feel a little naughty about this, but now I tell waiters that I am actually allergic to cilantro in the hopes that they will be more diligent at reminding the chef of my request. Too many times have they forgotten. Too many times I have gotten the evils from the server and whoever I am eating with when I send it back. I am tired of making excuses for my hatred of this evil spice. I want to stand up and be proud. Cilantro haters unite!
Thank you for listening. That was cathartic.
- Elaine Ellerton Austin, TX
"I first tasted cilantro when I was about 10 years old. My aunt had made some home-made salsa. I tasted it and it was the most disgusting thing I had ever put in my mouth. Everyone else was just going on and on about how delicous it was. After that, every once in a while I would notice that same horrible taste in foods at restarants (especially Mexican ones). Finally, years later, I figured out the culprit was a nasty little plant called "cilantro". Uggg, it makes me mad just to hear that word. What is wrong with people who like it??? I don't get it!!! "
- Savannah Pensacola, FL
"I first ate the offending herbage at a Thai restaurant in Toronto when I was in my twenties (15 years ago now). The Pad Thai was delicious until I got this sudden flare of grossness that ground my taste buds to a screeching halt. It wasn't just the taste, it was the SMELL. It went straight to my sinuses and it reminded me of those playground corners where some kids peed in during the night and the next day there's this baked-in urine smell that won't go away. Yes, cilantro smells like old pee. My friends told me it was cilantro and thought i was a close-minded neanderthal for almost vomiting my entire meal right then and there. Those friends are gone, my hate for cilantro remains, I'm proud to say. I'm so happy to have found fellow haters. DOWN WITH CILANTRO"
- Frank Toronto
"I was about 18. My boyfriend at the time was Chilean. His family used to have small get-togethers in the park, with a packed lunch and some BBQ food. His Mum made this salad, pretty standard,just cucumber, tomato, lettuce, etc. All through it would be these innocuous looking small green leaves. I just thought it was parsely, so I took a big mouthful.. big mistake. This awful flavour like old dishrags (do you have Chux Superwipes in your country?) filled my mouth and nose, making me gag. I honestly thought that perhaps the bowl/fork had been improperly washed. I asked my boyfriend if he could taste something funny, but he noticed nothing. When I later found out it was coriander (my bf had to ask his Mum what was in the salad), he said that to him it tastes just like parsely and he can't tell the difference! This,to me, is just crazy talk!! I like parsely, it is mild and harmless!! Coriander is so pungent,and doesn't actually taste like something fit for human consumption. I didn't encounter it again for years, fortunately, until I went to yum-cha at a Chinese restaurant. I bit into this delicious looking dumpling that happened to have little green flecks in the dough.. I paused, dumpling in the air, mouth half-open, eyes watering. My brother twigged immediately - "coriander?" he asked. I nodded and he guided me to the ladies' room where I spat out the mouthful and rinsed my mouth out thoroughly. I didn't eat for the rest of the day, and washed my hands over and over, trying to rid my fingertips of the offending odour. Fortunately, I haven't tasted it since. I think it's cause I can smell it before I get in too deep. The smell alone makes my gorge rise. I hate how certain foods/ingredients become trendy to use in every dish, and the prevalence of this repulsive herb is my case in point!! Thanks for listening, this is quite cathartic! "
- Diana Gold Coast
"Even as a child, everything I ordered from taco bell was ordered with 'NO pico de guillo'. If they screwed up and put it on the food, it was inedible. Even removing it by hand left the essence of the putrid taste. I didnt know why. I liked tomatoes and onions. I thrived on jalapenos. Why did Taco Bell's little salsa mix taste like rancid dirty dish-water?
It wasnt until after I moved out of my parent's house and into my first apartment when I was 19. It was then that I first discovered what the cause of that familiar unpleasant taste was. I ordered a simple cheese enchelada from a small mexican food restaurant in Dallas and the first bite nearly killed me. I immediately recognized that taco-bell dishwater lingering flavor. I KNEW it wasnt the cheese or the tortilla. I unwrapped the enchelada to expose nothing but gynormous mound of fresh chopped green herb sitting atop the cheese. I called for the waiter and asked what the foul green leaves were. I took IMEDIATE mental note when he replied "It's cilantro sir".
I was relieved that I had finally discovered the source of so many ruined meals. Cilantro has since been my worst enemy in cullinary discovery."
- BRIAN DALLAS, TX
"My first experience with Cilantro was in 1985. I went to a local American owned and run, "Mexican" restaurant. I had been going there for years, enjoying the pre-meal complimentary hot salsa and chips. One afternoon while joining a group of co-workers, I delved into a mound of salsa, piled onto an authentic corn tortilla. "Arrrggghhhh...Ptooey...plahh"!!!! I thought I had lost a filling and shattered it with my teeth. Then, this wierd sensation set in, almost as if I had sucked on a natural gas pipeline!!!! I waited for a reaction from my friends, who to my surprise, chatted merrily on as if they were actually enjoying themselves. It would be years before I actually learned what it was about that salsa that made me repulsed by it.
Nearly a decade later, a friend gave me a starter herb garden. I planted and cultivated it until the herbs were mature and ready to add to my favorite dishes. One of these plants was Cilantro. I was still ignorant to the fact that THIS was my enemy! Looking like parsley, but a little larger, I added it to my redskin mashed potatoes, to serve to my family. As all cooks do, I tasted my cullinary work. "Arrrggghhh....Ptooey....plahh"!!! Yess... this was it! The same taste that I remembered from a decade earlier! The mashed potatoes were never given the chance to get the thumbs up or down from my family. My beautiful potatoes received a burial at sea. Smugly satisfied with my newly solved mystery, I waved goodby to them as they disappeared down the garbage disposal.
Since then, I have been the victim of several surprise visits from this awful, vile herb. Why people make a conscious effort to torture the likes of me by HIDING cilantro in dips, salads and pasta dishes, is beyond me. Cilantro should be included in fair labeling laws!
The very last time that I was attacked by this nasty stuff was at a Wild Oats store. A young girl asked me to try a dip made from a mix. I deliberately picked up the package to scrutinize the ingredients for things like MSG, high fructose corn syrup, yadda, yadda, yadda. Seemed safe enough, so I took the dip laden cracker and put the whole thing into my mouth. For a millionth of a second, I was pleased... then, all hell broke loose in my tastebuds. I made a mad dash to the bathroom, spitting and rinsing for 5 straight minutes! I marched back to the apron clad girl and demanded to know just what else was in that dip. Surprised and almost offended, she said "Nothing, other than a little cilantro!" Nuff said!!!!
Among my other disdains are black olives and whole garlic pieces."
- Trish Dublin, OH
"Being from England and knowing the weed as Coriander, I have to say that it is evil and should be banished forever. I first tried it in a resturant whilst dining with my brother after the first mouthful we both felt an overwelming urge to gag, awful dirty weed!, Indian food is one of my favourites and its such a shame they feel the need to put it on everything, I see a gap in the market for coriander free dining!!"
- Jo Canterbury
"Thank you, I felt so alone until I found this site! My employer has a cafeteria where I used to enjoy eating. Over the past year, or maybe more, they have begun adding cilantro to virtually everything. No meal is safe. I can only conclude that cilantro must be really cheap and this is a way to include a "green" to make the dishes seem healthier. It's horrible, I'm forced to choose between bringing my lunch (involves work), eating egg salad sandwiches (until they start putting cilantro in that, too), eating out (involves driving) or buying a hot meal and spending half my lunch time picking out the cilantro.
What is wrong with these people?"
- Cheryl Sherman Oaks, CA
"Everything was fine until I was a jr. in High School. My friend had just graduated and was having a graduation party. I went to his house early to help out. Lucky me, I was put on "cutting food" duty. That was fine until a whole bag of cilantro was placed in front of me. At this point I had no idea what I had gotten into and I picked up the knife and started in happy to be helping. My happiness did not last long. As soon as I caught a smell it was all over. But no, I couldn't stop part way through. End result: I finished the cutting the never ending pile of cilantro, however to this day I HATE cilantro. I don't want to taste it. I don't want to smell it. Most of all, I don't want people telling how wonderful it is and that I "must try it again, because I really am missing out." No I am not... just be happy I'm leaving more for you. gross."
"I went to this very upscale Mexican resturant by the UN in new york city. I was excitied to explore this cusine. I was 23 at the time dating an older man and he ordered everything for me ( I trusted his choices considering he is a foodie). We started off with guacolmole (which they made infornt of us), I was excited I never have tried it before. Immediately I didnt like it. I couldnt put my finger on what was the taste that I didnt like. Then we shared a lobster stuff raviolo with a green sauce and i couldnt bare the taste. I felt like I was going to die! And thats when I was introduced to that plague of word CILANTRO! He helped me narrow it down. Eversince that day I relized how much food contained that ingredient. What did I do before this new discovery? I dont even know, what I do know is that there is no turning back. I cant take the smell or taste. Whats even weirder is that I dont even know what it taste like to me. I felt as if something is wrong with me because EVERYONE love cilantro as i was told. It feels so great to see this website its even a bit comicial..lol thanks for letting me share my story."
- Lisa New York, NY
"I always wondered what it was, in some foods, that had a metalic taste. It seemed to be most often in Mexican foods. One evening a coworker asked if I wanted to go to a vietnamese restaurant. I like trying new foods, so I was excited to go. I ordered a spring roll, and my friend asked, "Do you like cilantro?" I had never eaten just cilantro before. If I had had it in something, I wasn't sure what caused certain flavors that I liked or disliked. She suggested that I ask to have it on the side. "It divides the population. Some people find it a mild fresh flavor, and it causes a chemical reaction in others that must be unpleasant," she said. I did as she suggested, but now I was very curious. I had long suspected cilantro, trying to pick through picante sauce to see what was causing that "chewing on aluminum foil" taste. Being that juices had mixed together, I was hard to isolate, and I was never sure. Now was my chance. Dinner was served, I grabbed a good pinch of cilantro, and started to chew. If you have never chewed on aluminum foil (I don't know if you need to have fillings to experience it or not.), it is what cilantro "tastes" like to me. It is not really a taste, or a texture; it is more of a sensation - a unpleasant sensation."
- Troy Kansas City, MO
"I grew up in a household and even worse, community that reveres cilantro (i'm indian). From as far back as I can remember I've hated cilantro. I wouldn't come downstairs if I could smell it in the kitchen. (I have superhuman senses when it comes to the disgusting leaf). What's worse is that I love food from all different nations, including the ones that feel they can't cook without it. Growing up, I would actually throw up when my mom would try to sneak it in my food or accidently touched a spoon with the same hands that touched cilantro. I have heard my whole life, including from my husband and his family, how weird I am for not enjoying the taste. Last weeekend my sisters friend, a fellow cilantro hater, told me about this website. What a relief that I'm not the only person in this world who hates cilantro. I am still waiting for another Indian who can't stand it. Anyways, thanks for the site. "
- Navi Porter Ranch, CA
"I never saw or tasted cilantro before going to the United States... my relationship with restaurants or take-aways had always been great there, until one night in Seattle: I went to a nice Indian restaurant, and ordered an interesting dish (rice, lamb, and some spicy sauce). At some point I tasted something disgusting, one of the most terrible flavours I ever tried, and I recognized the origin: some kind of herbs they had put on top. My first thought was: "Someone unconsidered in the kitchen must have put some kind of rotten herbs on top of my dish" thus spoiling the whole dish...which I had to give up easting.
After experiencing the same adventure a few weeks later in another restaurant, I found out that cilantro (not rotten!) was responsible for my problems.
From then on, I began asking for cilantro-free dishes"
- Elena Acquasparta
"I first encountered the Scourge at a noodle shop in Chicago, just out of college. I ate with a friend who raved about the place, and we ended up ordering the same thing. Even with the first bite, I noticed a foul taste akin to... diesel fuel. I figured something awful had made its way into my meal (little did I know), and asked my friend if his also tasted like gasoline. He thought his was delicious, but I tasted the same thing when I took a bite of his.
It was only later, as I developed a strong addiction to Thai food, that I narrowed down where that taste was coming from. Like Mexican, it sucks to have such a love/hate relationship with a cuisine that is one the one hand delicious, but is so often ruined by the pervasiveness of cilantro in that cuisine.
Ban the Green Menace! "
- Colkurtz Raleigh, NC
"I'm English so know cilantro as coriander. I's the vilest
bitterest herb I know. Years ago I had a rogan josh in an
Indian restaraunt it was delicious. I ordered another rogan josh a couple of years ago and it was overwhelmed by
the dratted coriander. My super market shelves are full of
ready meals that contain it. Even things that you would not normally expect to contain this foul herb do so now.
I have come to the conclusion that restaraunts and food
manufacturers alike put it in to try and mask their poor
products, because you can,t taste anything else with it in."
- D.Wolsey Derby
"As a life-long picky eater, I have little experience with trying new and interesting foods. So one evening I decided to break outside of my comfort zone and order some Japanese Pan Noodles. As I started eating this exciting (but scary) dish, it occurred to me that this meal was pretty good!! And then it happened... the most awful, overwhelming, rotten, and sickening taste exploded all over my palette. Never have I tasted something so absolutely horrible. I have hated cilantro ever since... and I am totally baffled that people can actually eat such a horrible plant. Cilantro is down-right God's punishment to mankind. "
"Ok so i was with my friend and we were at one of those jazz in the park things and we were having a picnic. One lady made jicima (hic-a-ma)salad and i love jicima salad (jicima is a veggi like a potado) i got myself a plate of it, i thought the cilantro was parasly and i dont have a problem with parsley. But when i took a bite of it i almost threw up! i tried eating around the cilantro but the flavor of it was like embeded in the salad. It was terrible and anything with cilantro on it i dont eat. I think the worst combination is cilantro and lime!! :P"
- Stephiny Encinitas, CA
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Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.