May 01, 2008
My first experience with cilantro was not directly with the herb itself, but with the a simple science experiment. As a sophmore in high school, my science class had a large unit on genetics. To illustrate recessive and dominant genes, my teacher had each of us taste a peice of paper with an edible chemical on it. (I now believe that chemical was most likely phenylthiocarbamide [PTC].) Just as he told us, 25% of us would be able to taste this substance and the other 75% would taste nothing. Me and the five other kids who could taste it all agreed that it had a horrible soapy/metallic taste. All six of us have a set of recessive genes in this particular trait, allowing us the taste the nastiness of PTC. Fast-forward a few years later and I'm eating some authentic Latin American dish and I'm hit with that SAME TERRIBLE TASTE!! My mother tastes the same thing with cilantro. I strongly beleive that this is genetic and we need a more conclusive study concerning the link between PTC and cilantro. Maybe then our voices will be heard!!
P.S. I saw a show on the Food Network where they were trying to find the ulimate chicken dish and one contestant had some sort of cilantro sauce on hers. A judge told her it tasted "medicinal" and she lost! Score one for the cilantro haters!!!