April 19, 2006
I was an exchange student to Mexico in high school and loved the authentic food I had there; all except for one dish that I could not handle for a number of reasons...
Some may know "menudo" as a teen boy-band from the 80s. It is also a soup, usually consumed after staying up all night partying, and the Mexicans swear that if you eat "menudo" before going to bed, you will not get a hang over.
"Menudo," to the American palate, is already hard to stomach, as it is basically tripe and hominy soup. But if that was not hard enough to choke down, it is also swimming with cilantro!
Being a good cross-cultural ambassador, and never having encountered this horrid green herb before, I kept trying to eat the soup (steering clear of the tripe) so as not to offend my hosts. Everyone else seemed to be unaware that the broth, hominy, and everything else was full of a soapy, vile flavor, yet they kept happily eating away. I finally narrowed the putrescence down to the green leaves and stems of cilantro.
Since my return, I have found that many red heads are cilantro sensitive, though there are others. It truly does ruin otherwise perfectly good food. It's great to find a community with whom to commune cilantro free!