I H a t e C i l a n t r o . c o m
Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!
Share your story
Visitors share their cilantro stories...
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, United States
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, United States
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, United Kingdom
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, United States
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.
\ , United States
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, United States
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, United States
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, United States
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, Italy
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, United States
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, United Kingdom
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.
\ , United States
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, United States
My first experience with cilantro was a spring roll at a Thai food restaurant. It was an incredibly horrific experience. The taste of the cilantro was alot like the dish soap analogy everyone uses except for me it involved a bit of violent pain in my mouth. After googling what may cause this pain I found that Cilantro actually has an enzyme in it that can cause a reaction with a certain percentage of the population.
I eat out quite often and I must say I steer clear of mexican restaurants. A certain very popular fast food chain even puts it in there stuffed burritos. I think it is important to start a grass roots effort to get rid of this vile herb that does nothing to enhance the flavor of anything.
QZRODHAM \ Augusta, ME, United States
I LOVE the fact that this site exists! I just found it while googleing "cilantro" to see if there any synonomous names for it that I should be looking out for. Cilantro is by far the nastiest thing I've ever tasted. For several years, I could not narrow down exactly what it was in some southwestern, Mexican, and Asian dishes that made me gag, nearly stop breathing (in an asthmatic fashion), and want to vomit. After asking, "what is in that?" on hundreds of occasions, and sending many a dish back to the kitchen, someone finally enlightened me- "maybe it's the cilantro." Since that time, I've been on watch for any mysterious green plant or plant-flakes that shows up on my plate. I can sniff it out like a K-9 finds crack. Before I order, I always ask the waiter if there is "cilantro in this dish", and usually the response is "Uh...I don't think so." Well, that's not good enough, because if I see, smell, or taste it, the meal's going back, and I refuse to pay for food laced with poisonous plants. I'm getting nauseous just thinking about it.
Kristen \ Boston, MA, United States
My first cilantro experience was when I was on spring break in Cancun. We had met some girls and went to dinner with them. I ordered ceviche, a Chilean raw fish dish, as an appetizer. I dove into it when it arrived and nearly gagged at the taste. I couldn't believe how bad it was. Maybe half of us had ordered appetizers, so others were just waiting for their food and watching us. I didn't want to look strange or fussy or anything, so I tried to have some of it. I have eaten in all types of restaurants, had the Chinese 'century eggs', eaten things that were somewhat burned, and am pretty adventurous about food in the first place--hey, I was ordering raw fish in Mexico--but I honestly could not eat any of the ceviche. That is the only time in my life--other than my experience with caraway--that this has ever happened. This weed must be destroyed.
Jeff \ Chicago, IL, United States
I've hated that taste for at least forty years. Ugh. Like biting into a bar of Ivory. Ironically, I have to use the stuff in my professional kitchen, and taste the food, but gaaaaaah, how can people pile it on so?
When I lived in San Francisco, my former roomie invited me to dinner for "pasta and pesto." He served me wagon wheels with cilantro pesto. I did the good Southern thing and gagged it down, with compliments. Two weeks later Tommy invited me to dinner again... and served me the same thing, "since you liked it so much the last time."
Frank \ Cheney, WA, United States
I was about 17 when I began my hatred of cilantro. I had just entered college, and to celebrate, my father took me to a yuppie Chinese restaurant a few miles from the university. As a big fan of Eastern food, I happily ordered some seafood udon. This noodle soup looked delicious, except it had some green flakes floating in it and a wad of what looked like parsley on top of it. I took a sip, and a flavor I could only describe as "rotten plastic" permeated my mouth. My father, a cilantro-lover, insisted there was no way plastic could taste rotten and that I obviously didn't have the refined palate he did. I was forced to dump this delicious-looking soup in a to-go container, where it wasted away in the fridge because every time I tried to open the lid, the stench of cilantro wafted out like so much miasma. Turns out the restaurant dumps cilantro on pretty much everything they make, if not IN the entree, in huge bunches next to it as garnish. My father always eats those sprigs and takes the opportunity to tease me about my hatred of cilantro, effectively turning me off that restaurant forever.
A few years later I found myself working at a southwest fast food place. Prior to me working there, it had been one of my favorite places to get tacos while at school. Now that I was actually working at one, it seemed great to get the same food I liked for free. That was until I realized they put cilantro in damn near everything they make except the tacos. The salsa, the guacamole, the beans, the steak marinade... they even had fresh cilantro on the line, for people that wanted even MORE cilantro on their food! My only real joy at work was being on prep and taking a sharp knife to those stalks of pure hell. I ended up quitting two months later.
I'm glad there's actually a sizable portion of people that hates this inane vegetation as much as I do. To this day, I've only found one other person that hates cilantro at the same level as me, and I'm dating him.
Jennifer \ Blacksburg, VA, United States
I came across this site when I googled Cilantro. I had just gone to dinner the night before. It was a friend who took a group of us out as a "thank-you". We went to an expensive new restaurant where I knew the food was good, maybe not great by my standards, but better than average. The soup I ordered was a lobster broth and was riddled with cilantro. I already knew that I had a strong aversion to this herb, but I didn't notice it in the first couple of bites. However, once I did I tried to give it away to me husband. He didn't want it as he had his own app. I managed to choke the soup down trying to avoid the nasty green leaves as best I could.
I have read now that others relate the taste to "soap", but I have got to say, all I can think of with the first wiff is a "wet dog" and the taste that follows makes me want to gag. Glad to know I'm not crazy.
_P.S. I love coriander.
Kelly \ Burlington, Canada
I am so happy that I finally have a place to share this where people will understand!
I was eating dinner at my aunt's house, she used to be a caterer, her son and his wife (for whom the dinner was in honor of) are both chefs at prominant restaurants.
One item on the menu was tortilla chips and fresh salsa, and I was VERY excited about it. I had actually never had the pleasure of eating fresh salsa (nor, it should be noted, had I ever had fresh cilantro) and I couldn't stop thinking about how great it would be. I took my first bite with the three of them around me watching expectantly. There was a moment of awkward silence before my cousin asked me if I liked it or not. I said I couldn't really tell, becasue I thought that the bowl they put the salsa in my not have been washed out properly, it tasted like dishsoap. They all tried it and said they couldn't figure out what I was talking about. I figured maybe it was just me and steered slear of the salsa the rest of the night. I couldn't help but wonder though if a trick was being played on me, I mean, how could someone not notice that, or were their palates just desensitized from working with food all the time? Or maybe they were just pretending to like it becasue it's an ingredient not commonly used?
As my aunt was finishing up the last bit of cooking she asked me to taste a sauce she made for the fish we were having to see if I thought it needed anything, I tasted and told her it was great, nothing more was needed.
She decided however that some cilantro would do the trick, added it, then had me taste again. That's when I realized what that vile taste was in the salsa. It rendered the rest of the meal inedible too.
This wouldn't have been so bad except, I was dining with three chefs, and not one of them had ever compared, or had someone compare to them the taste of cilantro to dishsoap before. You would have thought that when I asked about the salsa someone would have clued me in. This is why on top of disliking the taste of cilantro, I equate it with either stupidity, or dishonesty.
Christy \ Virginia Beach, VA, United States
Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.