May 14, 2008
I never encountered cilantro until about 9 years ago. I grew up in south central Florida and had been exposed to little ethnic foods. Even through 10 years of being an Army wife and living in TX and OK,I was never exposed cilantro.
My first experience was at a Mexican restaurant while eating salsa. I had been eating salsa for years and never bit into anything disgusting before! All I could think of was that someone had gotten pieces of metal in my food.
After eating with some co workers for lunch one day, I told someone how awful the food tasted. I was then informed that there was cilantro in the food. I didn't even know what it was and had to do some inquiring about the stuff. Of course, they had to tell me how much they loved it!
Over the past few years, I have asked at restaurants if there is cilantro in what I'm ordering and even when they say no, sure enough, it's still in there.
Last Saturday, (May 10th), my husband took me to The Cheesecake Factory for a Mother's Day lunch. (Nothing in there is a low priced meal.) I saw salads that had cilantro in them and made sure NOT to order one of those. So, I ordered the Asian Chicken salad. No mention of cilantro on the menu and for $12.95, I thought I could stay on my Weight Watcher's diet and still have a nice meal. Wrong!
First bite and my face went sour. My husband asked what was wrong and I said "there's cilantro in this salad". He asked how I knew because it was a lot of greens and small amount of chicken. I told him I know that taste and I hate it. I politiely asked the waitress if this salad was supposed to have cilantro in it because it was not listed in the ingredients. She said no and I explained how I HATE cilantro. She was great. Took my salad back and said she'd have a new one fixed without the nasty stuff.
I got my new salad after my husband was totally done with his food and again on the first bite, there it was! I was starving at this point and thought I'd just pick out the shredded (4 ounces)of chicken they put on the salad. When the waitress came back, she asked if it was any better. I just looked at her and said "no, this has it too".
She didn't understand because she said each dish is prepared to order. Now, I've worked in a restaurant before and know that lettuce is chopped and prepared ahead of time because there is no way they chop it for every single order of salad. Especially in a restaurant that has lines hanging out the door!
The waitress asked if I would like to talk to a manager. I told her no. I was too hungry to wait for another meal and I wasn't trying to get one for free. But, I did ask for a box and took the remains home for my husband.
I'm sure that since they have salads on their menu that DO have cilantro, they just go ahead and chop it up and put it in the entire prepared batch of greens and think that no one will notice.
This totally ruined my Mother's Day meal and the fun I was having, plus I had to go home and eat a meal because I was so hungry! What if I had been allergic to it?
My mother says she loves cilantro and puts it in all kinds of food now. She thinks I'm being picky because I tell her how much I dislike this green stuff. Thank goodness she has never put it in anything she prepared for me.
I also used a spray several years ago to keep my cat from scratching my furniture. I got it at a pet store made especially for cats who scratch furniture. When I sprayed it on the furniture, I smelled this awful scent. I told my husband that I knew that smell but couldn't place what it was. I kept thinking about what it could be and suddenly it dawned on me. It was cilantro! No wonder the cat won't touch the furniture when you spray that stuff on it!
I HATE CILANTRO!