June 04, 2008
In 1979, I was at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan with a pretty large group. We ordered several dishes to share. I took a taste of one, and it was like biting aluminum foil: something was VERY WRONG with this so-called "food." "Don't eat that one," I warned, "Something bad is in it - maybe a little piece of dirty kitchen sponge or something." Others tried the dish and reported that their portion was fine, but one other woman said something was wrong with hers, too. I guess we just assumed that something yukky had gotten into just one part of the serving dish. But years later, I learned that cilantro is popular in Thai cooking and that about the same proportion of the general population are "tasters" as we were that night.
And what has followed has been years of frustration with people trying to tell me "it's an acquired taste ...."