I H a t e C i l a n t r o . c o m
Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!
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Visitors share their cilantro stories...
I have hated cilantro for so long, I simply can't remember the first time I experienced this vile weed. But I do have two different restaurant stories.
Years ago, I was eating at Chili's and there was a new item on the menu called Santa Fe rice. I told the server that I would like that as one of my sides so long as it didn't contain cilantro. As she was approaching my table with the food -- from three tables away I could smell this putrid odor. Evidently, she had asked in the kitchen if cilantro was added to the dish and was told "no", but the proper question should have been, "Does it CONTAIN cilantro," and evidently the rice mixture supplied to the restaurant already had it in there. I pointed out to the server and the manager that although I had a complete revulsion to cilantro, I was not alergic to it. But a patron who WAS alergic could very well have had a lawsuit over my experience. I have since been to Chili's rarely.
My second story involves a recent dining experience in Baltimore at a Mexican restaurant. While discussing my choices with the server, I mentioned my dislike for cilantro and asked her what things she liked at the restaurant. Her reply was that she had tasted none of the food because she hated Tex-Mex cuisine. (An odd choice for a place of employment, don't you think?) At any rate, in the course of our discussion, I mentioned that one day I would open a restaurant named simply NFC. "Did that stand for something?" she inquired. "Yes," I replied. "No Fu*#ing Cilantro!!" I think she is still laughing.
I can assure you that both close and casual friends know of my complete disdain for this despicable food ingredient. I am so happy to fincd a community of kindred souls.
JOCinPWC \ Manassas, VA, United States
My parents put parsley/cilantro in some stuff. In the vegan things I eat usually. I hate it, I really don't like the taste ew. I avoid it as much as possible.
Carolina \ La Cuntz, FL, United States
I first ate cilantro (more commonly called coriander in Australia) c2002 at a local Vietnamese restaurant when a friend from interstate was staying with me. It was her first night in town. Everyone loved the food but I had trouble getting even a forkful of one particular dish near me. I was unfamiliar with the overwhelming stench of the dish and it was like my body was warning me not to eat it. But because someone had served me and I hadn't seen my friend in 10 years, I tried to put a good face on it and struggled down two mouthfuls before declining any more.
About 20 minutes later my throat was feeling very odd. Swollen. I started coughing and I realised I had asthma. Long story short, gasping for breath, Ventolin didn't help and I ended up in hospital for the night.
The incident was so frightening I have avoided coriander ever since, to the everlasting amusement of my mother, who delights in using coriander in EVERYTHING. I'm glad I can detect it so easily - it gets within whiffing distance and it's like my whole body revolts. My daughter is the same, but my husband and other children don't seem to mind it.
My extended family think I am making it all up or that it's in my head - they don't find the smell of it as wholly offensive as I do. Godawful stuff.
I believe if my body reacts so violently at just the smell, and so seriously with ingestion, that I am allergic to it. And I say so.
Miranda Windsor \ Perth, Australia
I am absolutely disgusted by the taste of cilantro. When I fist moved to Silicon Valley and tried Mexican food, I was shocked by the taste of something in the food that I couldn't stand. I immediately had to spit the food, because I was sure I eaten some stinky bug, or something like that.
Ivan \ San Jose, CA, United States
\ , United States
I have hated cilantro since we met when I was in high school. Growing up in Oklahoma I had never come into contact with it and had no idea what it was. I ordered some delicious tortilla soup at a Mexican restaurant - when it came to the table it had some leafy green things in it. I like veggies and green things, so I didn't think anything of it until the taste of blood and dirty metal filled my mouth. Tortilla soup ruined. Forever.
My most disappointing cilantro experience was when I was making delicious mushroom risotto and I picked up some curly parsley to throw in at the end. No big surprise here - upon chopping the "parsley" that SMELL filled the kitchen. The smell of sweaty feet and wet pennies.
No parsley for the risotto. No appetite either.
Lisa \ San Antonio, TX, United States
I had tasted cilantro randomly in foods throughout my life and never knew why sometimes a dish would taste the way body odor smells. Finally at dinner with my parents one night I had a plate of rice with cilantro and my mom mentioned she couldn't stand the stuff because it tasted like soap, and I asked what it was - thinking it was parsley, and she explained it was cilantro. Now that I know what it is, I avoid it at all costs, and I hate when people say I'm just "being picky" when I return a meal because of the cilantro. I don't taste the "soap" the way some people do, and I don't notice any smells, but the taste is so specific I can detect even one tiny flake of it, and it ruins the whole dish. I'm glad I found this site and I know my mom and I aren't alone!
\ , MD, United States
i'm so glad i found this site that dam herb as made me feel like i'm crazy for not liking it my sister was convinced i was putting on a show of not liking because it actually makes me gag when she is cooking with it. She even told me that she hadn't put any in the meal she made me and then when i almost threw up on the first mouthful she now believes me. I've always hated indian food never knowing what the horrible taste was in the curries. Then when we went backpacking in thailand i ordered a ham toastie thinking that was the safest snack took a mouthful and nearly emptied my stomach onto the floor i looked inside and it was full of what my sister informed me was coriander! The memory stil makes me shudder.
J.G \ Mid Wales, United Kingdom
My story begins like many others. I was casually nibbling on some food, browsing the web, NOT expecting anything out of the ordinary. A few bites in, there it was. Unmistakeable, horribly offensive, and staring me dead in the FACE!! I didn't know whether to vomit all over my keyboard, or pass out from disbelief. This was completely foreign to me, and still cannot believe sane people indulge in this!! It was my NEMISIS!! This absolutely pointless and atrocious website!!! I threw my delicious cilantro covered salmon bite back onto my plate (to be immediately eaten afterwards), and typed up a HORROR STORY!! Yuck!
Drue \ Ypsilanti, MI, United States
I used to not mind it much (or at least didn't come across it enough to identify it) until I started dating a guy I'll call Dick. Whenever I went to Dick's parent's house for dinner, his mother would cook up some supposedly "genuine" Puerto Rican food. And by that I mean she always made dried up, chewy, mystery-meat with a gigantic mountain of spanish rice on the side. Every. Time.
But the biggest testimony to her culinary prowess was the fact that she would OVERKILL her food with cilantro. It was the only thing you could taste. I felt like I was munching on a giant bush of this garbage spice.
I'm normally able to choke down whatever is put in front of me, no matter how much I dislike it, which I did do for the first couple times. But after a certain point I could no longer force the cilantro-jerky down my gullet. For the first time in my life, I had to start refusing to eat someone's cooking, using excuses of having already eaten.
The most baffling thing was that her 3 sons absolutely loved her cooking and couldn't get enough of it. Cilantro, rice, and dry meat was all they knew, the poor souls.
Now I can no longer touch cilantro without thinking about that stringy, over-cooked, cilantro-tainted meat sliding down my throat.
C \ , IL, United States
My first encounter with cilantro was September 2002 in a village in the southern part of Shanxi Province, China. It is called shangtai(sp?) in China. My translator wanted some noodles so she and I went to a small restaurant in the village of Moli. When the noodles came I started eating them and it had a terrible taste, but I never said anything to her. She thought I really liked the noodles and the next week she wanted to go back. The noodles still tasted like crap and I finally told her there was something wrong with my noodles. I had her taste them and she said they were great! I started investigating what was causing the bad taste. I found that the little green leaves tasted like crap!! From that time on I would make sure there were no green leaves in my noodles. The noodles tasted great without the shangtai(cilantro).
I still live and work in China today and still hate the cilantro!The chinese put it in and on everything. I have to order special dishes without the green leaves. I can smell the stuff whenever it is on the table. Everyone makes fun of me, but I tell them if they don't want to see me vomit then make sure there isn't any on the table.
Last year when I went home I went to a mexican restaurant. The waiter gave us some chips and salsa (which I love)and when I started dipping the chips in the salsa I smelled something familiar. I took one taste and knew I was in trouble. I never dipped another chip! My family coulds not understand why I didn't like the taste of the salsa. A few nights later we went to a family restaurant and when they brought out the salad I took one bite and low and behold there was cilantro in it! I said "who the hell put this crap in my salad". The waiter said it was for decoration.
I don't mind seeing other people eat that crap but I can not eat it and will not eat it ever again!!!!!
Gary Kirby \ Decatur, IL, United States
While traveling to Atlanta by car in August, we stopped in an Indian restaurant in Greenville, SC. I usually order vegetable jalfrezi when we dine on Indian cuisine, without incident. Evidently, the recipe used in the mid-Atlantic restaurants differ in one significant way: This dish was COVERED in the evil green weed. My husband called the waiter over and I explained the problem. He took the dish back to the kitchen and brought it back with some of the EGW scraped off. I again said I would not be able to eat the meal. Then it became "blame the victim" time; apparently, I was supposed to know that EGW would be on it, even though no mention of it was made in the description of the dish on the menu. So, the waiter took it away again and removed it from the bill (thank you) and I ate rice for dinner. Can I just say that my kids were mortified? Totally embarrassed that I would not just shut up and eat perfectly good vegetables with disgusting herbaceous matter on them. And here I've tried to teach them since birth to stand up for what's right! But they like cilantro. Where did I go wrong? LOL
Lori RN \ Baltimore, MD, United States
Time for an update ... I still HATE cilantro. 13 years ago I traveled to Venezuela and Guatemala, enjoying the local cuisine. No sign of cilantro. Last week I traveled to Costa Rica which is not THAT far from Guatemala and guess what? Everything salsa, has cilantro and it was even cooked into a very good looking pork dish. I was so discouraged. At one hotel, I was too late in asking and tried very hard to ignore it. Couldn't. ... but at the 2nd I checked ahead of time and the chef was very careful in keeping it away from my palate. It tasted the same in Costa Rica as it does here. Soap.
Peggy \ Gloversville, NY, United States
It all started with a bumper crop of tomatoes from my garden one year and the wish to create homemade salsa for my husband who's a salsa affectcionado. I guess we were in our mid 30's at the time.
Every recipe seemed to call for cilantro and since the cooking shows raved about it, especially Rachel Ray, I decided to give it a try.
So I bought a big clump of cilantro from the local grocery store produce dept., took it home and began chopping. The recipe called for at least 1/2 a cup if I remember right, but after chopping 2 or 3 leaves the odor assaulting my senses immediately alerted me to a possible error in the recipe. Maybe it should really call for a 1/4 tsp.? Maybe I bought the wrong variety? Or maybe the smell was a misnomer and would settle down once the acids in the tomato worked on it.
Tastes just as bad as it smells.
My husband came home an hour later and immediately asked "what stinks"?.
He hates it as much as I do so maybe that makes us genetically compatable?
We're of english and european descent for the most part.
If I were compare cilantro to anything I would say it's a non-food item that smells like a linen shirt that's been hanging on the clothesline for a couple of weeks and was rained on and dried more than once.
Not salsa material.
One thing I don't understand is why commercial salsas so frequently list cilantro in the ingredients but I've never detected the overwhelming taste of cilantro in them.
I'm going to go to work tomorrow and see how many enemies and/or friends I can make/lose with my newly acquired confidence in despising cilantro.
I'll keep you posted.
Rose \ Greenville, SC, United States
The first time cilantro accosted my taste buds was several years ago when I ordered steak fajitas at Chilis. One of the sides is pico de gallo which is full of this offensive excuse for parsley. It taints the taste of anything it touches. I learned not to use the pico de gallo after that. Now, years later, I find this obnoxious herb on salads, appetizers, and meat dishes. It kills the taste of a good steak or any other meat. It overpowers a good meal because the wretched taste stays on your tongue for hours afterwards. When did this herb become so popular? I can't understand why top chefs add this ingredient to their dishes. Are they trying to hide the taste?
Lola \ Englewood, CO, United States
I was fourteen years old. I remember that fateful night... I was at an ice cream parlor in NYC. They sold the most disgusting ice cream flavor ever... DUN DUN DUN. You guessed it. The devilish plant we refer to as cilantro. Now, I didn't know at the time that cilantro was terrible. I took the first bite of it... and nearly laid an egg. For that was the worst ice cream I had ever tasted. My friend named Holly turned against me for it, saying that I was an ungrateful little b!tch, because she had bought me that ice cream. But still, it tasted like a mixture of butter, fat, pepper, cabbage, salt, mustard, and vinegar.
Alyssa Anderson \ New York City, NY, United States
I never really noticed cilantro. It didn't register with me. Until I went to Chili's and ordered their Green Chili Chicken Soup. It looked strange before I even ate it. So strange I double checked to make sure it was the right soup. After the first bite I regretted the decision to get that soup, but I ate some anyway. I tried to avoid the cilantro leaves, but it just didn't seem to work. That night I didn't feel so well. I thought it was just because I was tried from driving 10 hours. Then I started to become nauseous. I remembered feeling the same way a few months before when I spent most of the night waiting to throw up and finally did, a lot. At the time I didn't know what had caused the night of nausea, but after checking with a friend, she had made guacamole with cilantro. Luckily, I didn't eat enough of the Chili's soup to spend the night throwing up. However, from now on I will avoid cilantro like the plague! Not only does it taste bad, but also my body rejects it violently!
S Smith \ , NM, United States
My friend and I went to our favorite sushi place one time. We always tip well there, so the sushi chefs know us pretty well. They always give us free sushi samples when they try new recipes. One afternoon, they sent out a plate with two pieces of a new tuna roll on it. The tuna was covered in some kind of sauce. The second I put the roll in my mouth, I could only taste the overwhelming soapy flavor of cilantro. I made a bee-line for the bathroom and spit it out, then proceeded to throw up the rest of my lunch. My friend loved it. Come to think of it, I've never seen it on the menu...
Rose \ Wichita, KS, United States
I went for lunch and order some shrimp soup as a starter.
the soup came in and I was reading the paper in the same time and did not really pay any attention to the with soup that was approaching my mouth-
I took the whole spoon and swallowed.
I immidately almost threw up got up from the chair and did spit out all that was left, right out in the restaurang, shouting " do you want to kill me" this is the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. The whole restarunat was looking at me as if I was an idiot. But I asked manager why they don't put up warning signs when they put cilantro in the food. They did appoligize and gave me another starter. but still this was a near death experience that I do not want to have again
Charlie \ Boras, Sweden
I was but thirteen years old when I had my first encounter.
My friend, Alejandro, was a budding chef. I was over at his house, and he was teaching me to make creme brulee.
Suddenly, the sweet scent of the cream was masked by an odor too terrible to describe.
"What is that putrid smell?" I said, wrinking my nose.
It was coming from the pantry.
Horrified, I glanced into the cabinet. And there it was.
I just about threw up. "Please tell me you won't make anything with that in it," I plead Alejandro.
"What, cilantro?" he asked, holding up a sprig.
Cilantro. So that's what it was called.
Olivia G. \ Los Angeles, CA, United States
Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.