January 30, 2008
I knew nothing about cilantro until that fateful evening at dinner. My wife makes the best soup ever, and I looked forward to her latest masterpiece. The parsley leaves looked a bit larger than usual, and the soup smelled a bit different, but I am one who "eats anything" and enjoys it. But this was different. The taste was not pleasant, but I could eat it, and I didn't want to criticize my wife's cooking. She didn't hesitate to comment on her soup, however, and immediately connected the strange taste and smell to the parsley she had just bought at the produce store the day before. She retrieved the parsley, and the label that tied the bunch together spelled out CILANTRO! Oh, well, she wondered how that happened, because she bought Italian parsley - she thought. (A few days later at that store, she realized the parsley and cilantro were in adjacent trays, and she, in her haste, picked up the wrong one. Not food-wasters (we're both in our 70's - that's how we all are) we did finish the soup.
THAT'S NOT THE WORST PART OF THIS STORY.
Almost immediately after I finished our dinner, I had trouble breathing. Serious trouble, reminding me of my bouts with asthma when I was younger. Was my asthma returning? My wife, not only a great cook but a great amateur analyzer of medical symptoms, thought of an allergic reaction, since I was recently diagnosed as latex-allergic. She forced me to take a benadryl tablet. My breathing difficulties continued, unable to lie down, until 2 A.M., when I could finally lie in bed and sleep.
But was the cilantro the culprit? Later that day, I googled "cilantro allergic" and this site was number 1.
NOW I KNOW THE FULL STORY. Thanks for your site.
I plan to tell the produce store owner about this experience, and maybe he will post a warning. Or at least recommend going to this site.
I didn't read all the postings here, maybe one-third, but did not find an allergic reaction quite like my breathing problem. But I could not be the ONLY one to react like that. There ought to be an investigative reporter to cover this story - to warn others of cilantro's taste and allergic dangers.