April 01, 2008
I have always hated the taste of cilantro or coriandernbut didn't realize I was allergic until I was at the produce section of the supermarket waiting to order a platter. the manager came in with a box of fresh clantro and I took one whiff and felt faint and couldn't breathe - like when I am not taking asthma medication. I had to go outside in the winter in 20 degree weather in Boston. but at least I figured it out. I spent several years trying to tell waiters not to give ut to me and they would bring it anyway as many of your readers have said. I discovered the best way to deal with it is to write a card - on your own computer that says that "I am highly allergic to cilantro, coriander and chinese parsley. Please do not serve it to me, please give this to the chef." that usually does the trick. When I was in Australia, I found out that another name for cilantro or a close cousin is thai basil and that was confirmed for me by the chef at Daniel restaurant in NY. so you should all try handing the waiter or chef the card. Most restauranteurs are concerned about liability and won't serve it to you. I now have to change my card to allergic to cilantro, coriander, chinese parsley and thai basil. I also have it translated into Chinese and Hebrew. In French it is "coriandre" or "feuille de coriandre". I hope this helps everyone.