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...
Okay well I was eating one of those pre packaged salads and enjoying every bite until I tasted something disgusting. I didn't know what it was but I hated it! This went on for a month or so. I tried to vary different brands of salad hoping not to get the same taste again in my mouth. Once again I got it. So I studied the leaf and found it at the supermarket and knew the culprit was Cilantro. It is the most horrible taste I have ever eaten. I think I would rather eat Liver. Anyway any chance I get I tell people to read the salad contents to avoid the Cilantro. Yuck, Yuck and more Yuck.
Michele \ Ormond Beach , FL, United States
I was about 17 when I first encountered cilantro. I was working in the kitchen of a health food store. I enjoyed the job, until I had to make up a recipe that included cilantro.
In the walk in cooler I found the box containing the cilantro. I opened it up and was assaulted by the odour of that noxious weed. There were about 60 bundles of the stuff in a small space. I was certain something was horribly wrong.
I grabbed a bundle and brought it to the head chef. "What the hell is wrong with this stuff?" I asked.
She inspected it. "Nothing. It's perfectly fine."
"You mean it's SUPPOSED to smell like that?"
Despite the fact that I was nearly retching, I had to clean and chop the stuff, then simmer it. I couldn't get the smell off my hands. It was DISGUSTING.
Since then I've tried to avoid it, and I've been successful for the past year or so. But then last night I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered a bowl of won ton soup. I LOVE won ton soup, but I rarely get to have it. The bowl was brought over, and there were little green bits floating in it. The smell hit me like a ton of bricks. I almost cried.
I ate the soup anyway, avoiding the actual bits of cilantro floating in the broth. I then spent the rest of the night feeling nauseous, unable to sleep because of the taste of the devil-weed which I just couldn't get rid of.
Chris \ Toronto, Canada
I almost cried with joy when I saw this website mentioned in the Baltimore Sun over the weekend. I thought I was the only cilantro-hater in the world! If there is any chance that cilantro will appear in or on my meal, I tell the waiter/ess to keep it away. There's not really an "aha" moment for when I realized I hated cilantro, just the realization that something tasted really shitty in my food and by process of elimination (no pun intended) figured that was it. My husband and teenagers have had hours of enjoyment watching me pick flakes of cilantro out of my food when necessary. In fact, in deference to me, call it the "C word." Another "C word" thing I hate is capers. Anyone else out there want to be in THAT support group with me?
Lori \ Baltimore, MD, United States
I first tasted the fowl herb in "Crystal Soup" and didn't know what it was... other than I was NEVER ordering "Crystal Soup" again. I went on with my life happy but detered from tasting any herb that even resembled it which had no name yet.
Years passed without incedent. I began working in an Organic market stocking produce. One afternoon I was filling up the wall and began to break up stalks of what I thought was parsley into bundles. I was awash in a fowl sickening odor...one I somehow knew.
I left the area dry-heaving. "That ones god something poisonis spilled on it! Industrial chemicals! Cleaning supplies!..."
But no, oh no...my manager informed me it was "Cilantro".
You couldn't pay me to eat that crap...I don't know how anyone can. It tastes like toxic waste and Chlorine.
JoeluvsJo \ Salem, MA, United States
Dear readers my first experience with Cilantro/Coriander was so traumatic that I have spent many years purging the details from my memory, please forgive my ambiguity, as I forge ahead with my tale of woe.
I first encountered Cilantro/Coriander as a young adult who loved going out for dinner!
We were a small group, experiencing new restuarants. I think I was eating a tomato salad or some such raw appetiser, that had what I thought was parsley in it.
Well, before I even had time to close my mouth, I started gaging. The desire to vomit was so strong and overwhelming that I literally had to turn my head to side and try not to heave in front on my friends (embarressingly I failed).
My reaction was so strong, it caused my party to be genuinely concerened for my welfare. When I finally did compose myself, I made enquiries as to the nature of the food I was consuming. Upon discovering it was not parsley, I concluded, out loud, that the Cilantro/Coriander had simply produced the undesired effect. Well, I may as well have admitted to having three heads, because that is how my party viewed me after my conclusion.
So in the space of few minutes, I experienced, shock, suprise, nausea, restraint, embarressment, sympathy, concern, incredulity, public humiliation (all not necessarily in that order) and finally isolation.
Since then, I have found out the hard way, that Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican and other Asian cultures use Cilantro/Coriander and have spent the last 25 years avoiding it. Not always successfully.
Sadly, food has become a victim of fashion and where basil was once (for a too brief period of time) considered the herb of the season, it was soon replaced with Cilantro/Coriander which has not yet gone out of fashion years and years and years later! (Groan)
I have since met two other people who do have the same reation. Not because they do not like the taste, rather Cilantro/Coriander actually irritates the gag reflex, causing an uncontrollable urge to vomit. Hence, my sharing my tale of woe with you dear readers.
I seek is assistance:
A) Are there other people out here in "I hate
Cilantro" land, who have as violant a reaction as I do?
B) Would my reaction be considered a food intolerance or sensitivity?
C) With the exception of the two people who I have met; am I alone in this?
D) Is there something odd about me?
E) Personally, I think Cilantro/Coriander smells and tastes like vomit - not dish water. Is that because of my first encounter or the association I have with it or are there others out there who think the same?
Guys, I told my tale a little melodramatically. Yet, I am seriously seeking guidance with the questions I'm asking.
Please write back. I am tired of people not believing me when I say I am allergic to the stuff. I would really like to say it is a common complaint, if that is indeed true and talk about it as if I know what I am talking about... you know... using big words, having data (even anecdotal) to back up my claim etc.
(Not so) MerryM
MerryM \ Sydney, Australia
I could never figure out what some Italian and Mexican places put on their stuff that made me sick, until eating a salad with "it" in it. Some friends I was eating with whom I told about the "problem" said it was probably cilantro. "What's THAT??" Now I know. It has ruined a lot of food for me over the years. The smell and taste somewhere between burning rubber and dry body oder...! I used to eat it anyway and would feel sick for the rest of the evening. NOW I know better. I am of Scandinavian extraction and discovered here that we tend to have a gene for cilantro aversion. I sure do!
Robert \ Waterloo, IA, United States
I was a teenager in 1992, and I was sitting with my parents in a Mexican restaurant. Over the years I had slowly developed what you might call an almost unconditional love for all foods Mexican. Be it the spiciness of the tomato salsas, or the refried-beans, or the tortilla combinations, I was discovering a real passion for Mexican cuisine.
As my mother scooped the first bite of salsa, she exclaimed with joy: "Oooh! They put cilantro in the salsa! Mmm...I love cilantro!"
I was eager to try; I took a nice salty blue corn tortilla chip and scooped a generous pile of the spicy salsa onto it. As I gratifyingly crunched down into the first bite, I noticed something was wrong - Very Wrong. Instead of Mexican Goodness, I tasted something like straight petroleum or cheap floral perfume. It wasn't the usual kind of 'iffy' flavor, but rather almost something like a parody on the entire concept of something that tastes bad. Was someone laughing back in the kitchen?
I kept my shock to myself that day, but deep down I was thinking, "How can you people like that sickening flavor?" I mean, the taste of the cilantro just flat-out annihilated all the other subtle flavors of the salsa and made the whole thing taste like soap or perfume.
I'm a bit ashamed to say that I actually tried over the years to accomodate my palate to that vile taste; I would just try to ignore that overpowering, pungent flavor while eating a dish laden with cilantro, but for years the taste just remained what it was: absolutely horrible.
Finally I started telling waiters to altogether exclude the crap.
Unfortunately it seems our society has come to love, and I mean love, this filthy excuse for an herb. What a shame, because I used to crave so many foods that I now detest because of cilantro, and only because of cilantro. A pox on cilantro!
Josh \ Houston, United States
My story goes like this:
I don't remember my first experience clearly, but I do know that the first time I put some into my mouth and experienced that almost physical slapping sensation that rocket-propels itself throughout the nasal cavity like rubber cement, like a factory-produced Kevorkian chemical coctail, there was literally no other experience I could use to compare it with. Nothing else tastes like it, but taking a huge whiff of liquid Drano or diesel fuel might be the closest analogous sensations. How IN THE HELL someone would EVER think: "MY WORD! This is exactly what I've been yearning to deliberately insert into my food," isn't just a mystery to me, it's where the line is drawn between myself and all that is evil and ungodly. I would sooner squeeze a bottle of toothpaste into my food. Other people just love it! All I can reason is that they must belong to a different species than I do. Down with cilantro!
Josh \ Houston, TX, United States
I grew up in NJ, where there were no Mexican restaurants, not even a Taco Bell. When I moved to Denver, I experienced Mexican food for the first time. However, the salsa tasted like soap, and I thought they hadn't washed out the dish or something. After it happened a few times, I figured out that not everyone could be that bad at washing dishes, but I didn't know what was in there that would taste so bad.
I'm not sure where I finally discovered what the culprit was, but one day my husband helpfully made a salad for dinner using one of those bagged greens mixes. After accusing him of not washing out the salad bowl, I looked at the list of ingredients, and sure enough, there it was-the hated CILANTRO!
I felt ostracized among my co-workers because they all LOVE the salsa at Mexican restaurants, and don't believe me when I tell them it tastes like soap. I didn't think anyone else was a victim of this hateful weed-until I found this website! Thank you!
Cruiser \ Littleton, CO, United States
I first encountered this inexplicably popular herb in about 1985, when I was at a nice Italian restaurant with several friends. We often got wonderful pizzas from this place, so I thought I'd go for a change of pace and order the lasagna.
A couple bites of it told me that something was very wrong. I wiped my fork, thinking I was tasting dish soap. No luck. I tried a couple more bites but couldn't continue. I was sure that soap had gotten into the sauce somehow. I called the manager over and he was incredulous at my claim that it tasted like soap, but he ultimately brought be a different entree.
Many years later I began detecting that same awful taste in salsas, Thai soup, and a few other places, eventually finding the name of this horror. The memory of the contaminated lasagna returned and I realized what must have been the cause of my alarm.
Recently I was in an Applebees and a man at a nearby table got fajitas. I heard him ask the waitress if that was all the cilantro they were going to put in the salsa. My ears pricked up and I eyed him suspiciously, looking for other telltale signs that he might be something other than human. The waitress soon brought a small cup brimming with the stuff and he grudgingly accepted it, saying that it was ALMOST sufficient. He dumped it onto his plate and I had to look away.
Why this weed has become popular is completely mysterious to me. I concede that there's apparently a perceptual diference here, sort of like why some paople like music I can't stand. But why sneak it into foods when some percentage of the population simply can't stand it??
Have there been any surveys which might hint at the percentage of the population that find this stuff inedible?
This may be the only ammunition we could present to the culinary Powers That Be, to show how many paying customers they are losing.
I was pleased to find this site, having thought to Google "hate cilantro" after seeing yet another TV chef contaminate a hapless dish with the foul weed today.
ToddJ \ Aurora, IL, United States
The first time I noticed cilantro, I thought an animal had crawled into my mouth, crapped, and then crept up my nose to die. My boyfriend and my sister hate it too - but everyone else looks at me in surprise when I order at a restuarant and ask "No cilantro". To me, it's like them being surprised that I dont want the waiter to pee in my mouth.
Cilantro is ruining my life. I just hope that one day everyone will hate the taste and know what we are all talking about. Because then it would never, ever be used again.
Cass \ Sydney, Australia
I don't know what antichrist has led the proliferation of this devil-weed into every restaurant and indeed almost every dish in America, but whoever they are, they should be shot in the street.
I am positive that I had consumed small quantities of cilantro at various points throughout my life before the incident i'll describe, but they must have been truly miniscule because I'll never forget the first time I really tasted the true flavor.
My girlfriend and I were trying a new Mexican restaurant that had just opened up. I was enjoying my meal, when I looked up and saw her slowly paddling through her tortilla soup with her spoon, looking pale and frightened. I asked what was wrong, and she said "I think there's bleach in my soup." Now, this wasn't the first time she had freaked out over some non-existent transgression against her by random chefs, so I calmly took the bowl and tasted the soup myself, expecting to chastise her for her imagination afterward.
Slurrrp, and KAPOW. Bleach. I was blown away. Anger and bile raced to rise through me. I called the waiter over, and red-faced, somehow managed to politely say "I think there is a chemical in this soup." He took the bowl back to the kitchen, they presumably examined it and thought we were trying to get a free meal or something. The manager came out and explained delicately in broken english that the soup was fresh, and that they never used any harsh cleaners on their dishes or pots. He said he tasted it, and it was fine. He sent us a new bowl. Bleach again!
I paid the bill and left before my anger got the best of me, and went home and promptly TRASHED the place on several local foodie messageboards. It wasn't until weeks later in Whole Foods Market that I realized how grave an error I had made. I walked through the produce section and got hit with the most strong, awful chemical smell imaginable, the same as the soup but much more powerful. I followed the scent to it's root, in a sinfully large pile of freshly cut and misted cilantro. I was shocked!
Now at the cafeteria at work, the chef seems to have some satanic obsession with this foul greenery, and peppers every single dish they serve with the stuff, of course, minced so microscopically that there is no chance of picking it out of my food. I truly hate cilantro, and I remain utterly baffled as to why it has gained the popularity it currently enjoys. It is ruining my love for thai, mexican and indian cuisines.
Ian \ D.C., VA, United States
I have a sad cilantro story to share with you. My dear husband slaved away on a dinner meal that I cajoled him into making for us, on a Monday night, no less. The meal was loftily entitled "Fruity Chicken Fusilli" and contained about 50,000 ingredients-- mango, turmeric, cardamon, raisins, peanut oil, among others. We actually had to go to four separate stores to find the cardamon, to give you a better sense of the time invested in this particular meal. While said husband chopped and chopped and chopped and measured and chopped, I supported him, like any good wife should, by taking an afternoon nap (to my credit, I did the dishes). For most of the cooking/prep time, the smells wafting from the kitchen were quite fruity and delicious. Finally, with a flourish, he added the last ingredient-- fresh organic cilantro from our local market-- as a garnish to the dazzling pasta dish.
"Dinner is ready!" he called lovingly. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I sniffed the plate placed before me. Puzzled and perplexed, I sniffed again. Intrigued, he sniffed. Wrinkled his nose. He and I locked eyes, registering our mutual concern. To make a long story short, my husband and I have discovered yet another thing we have in common... the existence of a strong, yet not unheard of genetic predisposition towards hating the smell and taste of cilantro. In keeping with those of you who share our misfortune, cilantro to us smells and tastes like something almost indescribably evil... something rancid, yet soapy... some might even liken the taste to savoring a mouthful of polished nickels (not that I would know what this tastes like).
Unlike when I was a little girl, I have grown to be quite adventurous in my zest for food and cooking. I honestly could say that there wasn't any food I wouldn't try. I have met my match. Never ever again, if I can help it, will I let a fresh green sprig of heinous C-I-L-A-N-T-R-O (a.k.a. coriander) cross these lips.
Krista \ Toronto, Canada
This site is proof that I wasn't being tortured by a being of higher power for misdeeds in a past life! There are truly others who can't stand this herb!
I cannot stand cilantro; and by that, I mean not the way I find the smell of durian a bit overwhelming or nettles a bit painful, I mean this stuff makes me choke, vomit and die.
I've hated cilantro for as long as I can remember and yet I've never been able to descibe its taste or smell... If I were forced to describe it words, I'd say it tastes like a nightmare with a touch of pure evil.
At first people would jest and often not believe me but very quickly, my friends would be amazed at my apparent ability to detect the presence of even small amounts of cilantro with precision.
For so long, people have given me looks and rolled their eyes, for so long I've had to spend hours picking the tiny bits of green leaves out of a perfectly good meal!
Unfortunately for me, my entourage includes absolutely no one who shares my hatred for the plant and in quite a few instances, I've had to endure its presence in my food for the sake of appearing like a normal human being.
Probably one of the most hilarious encounters I've had was in a small taceria in California where I ordered a burrito that contained a very small bit of cilantro. The waiters would not believe me that my food contained any cilantro and in the end, let me talk to the chef, who very politely told me that the particular burrito I ordered did not have any of it. After I made a bet with him as a joke, and dissecting half of my remaining burrito, my friends and I enjoyed a free meal on the house even though I tried to refuse the offer because the chef was being so friendly.
I now go there on a regular basis and the chef even knows my aversion to cilantro and accomodates me accordingly.
Marc \ Cupertino, CA, United States
It was 1987. I was at a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I had been eating Mexican food in restaurants for about a dozen years at that point. The obligatory complimentary chips and salsa were proffered. I dove in (being young, poor, and hungry) but after about three bites realized something was amiss. My dining partner noticed nothing out of the ordinary. I struggled to isolate the offending flavor. It was mildew-y, yet a bit soapy at the same time. I quickly concluded that a restaurant employee must have wiped off the rim of the salsa serving bowl with an old sour dish rag. I pointed this out to my partner, suggesting that we ask for a new bowl of salsa since this one was obviously tainted. She proclaimed that the salsa was perfect, with no off-flavors whatsoever.
I don't remember when I figured out that the culprit was cilantro, but it was fairly soon thereafter; it seems that the unholy herb came onto the scene in the late 1980's and was ubiquitous by the mid-1990s. I just don't get it. Where was it before? And why can't it go back there?
\ , United States
I first tried cilantro with a girl i had dated for about 1month. She had cooked some beef toungue with green tomatoes and CILANTRO!....F%@#$&* CRAPPY STUFF!....I wanted to run out the house after the first bite. I am from south Louisiana and know how good food taste!.....I rather eat mud from under a rotten board that has been in my backyard for months than eat cilantro.
Rusty \ NewOrleans, LA, United States
My first run in with cilantro was at a seafood restaurant in Baltimore. I ordered the sea bass which was covered in some sort of chutney. I took my first bite and immediately the nastiest flavor just socked me in my nasal cavity. At first I thought it was the fish, but after a couple more bites I found out it was the chutney. Needless to say I scraped it all off to the side but the flavor had saturated the fish and was uneatable. It wouldn't be until years later, and lots of uneaten mexican and indian food, that the worst tasting thing ever was a plant. A green leafy plant that tastes like someone mixed together the worst smelling perfumes and made it into a food additive. I checked wikipedia about cilatro and it said that some people's aversion to it is because of genetics. That must be the case because while the slightest bit of it brings tears to my eyes, my wife says it tastes fruity to her. It tastes fruity alright. Like fruit that's been sitting in the sun rotting for a year.
Mike \ , United States
I never realized I didn't like cilantro until about a year ago. I always thought that I was eating a rotten batch of salsa when it was in the salsa I was eating. About a year ago I realized that it was that one taste that I kept tasting and it was cilantro. It ruins EVERYTHING!!! I just bought a bagged salad by Dole called "Spring Mix with herbs" I should have known, but it contained cilantro and I was very upset.
Alize \ Royal Oak, MI, United States
I was in Belize, struggling with eating issues because of the abundant use of beans - and I had respite only in the fresh fruit and veggies that sometimes were served. Imagine my joy at being given the option of veggies instead of refried beans! I hastily asked for veggies, and dug in without hesitation. The instant the stuff hit my tongue I began to shkeeve - and spat it out into a napkin. I took a job working the kitchen staff at the place we were staying, and saw the veggie dish being put together. I saw tomatoes (gross yet benign), carrots, and celery (again, pretty gross but a known flavor) go into the mix, and then this garnish I'd never seen before go in as well. I tried a piece of it - and regretted it instantly. This flavor had plagued me for years - I got made fun of for not liking guacamole and for refusing some of the dishes my mom worked so hard to make. I knew it then - cilantro was the bane of my existance in the food world.
Lucia \ Watertown, CT, United States
I am always careful to ask that cilntro be excluded from anything I order, especially with Vietnamese Pho, a favorite of my wife and I. We both agree that it tastes like someone has placed a few drops of soap in the food. It always ruins the meal, as I am simply unable to get past it, even after careful removal.
So imagine my suprise at a Japanese restaurant in Austin today when I found cilantro in my miso soup. In all the 20+ years I have had the soup I never tasted cilantro in miso soupbefore and, of course, it was ruined.
I am now at a t-shirt shop and they are almost finished with my new shirt that says "I Hate Cilantro, do not even THINK about puttin it in my food"
Jack \ Dallas, TX, United States
Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.