July 30, 2009
As far as I know I never encountered cilantro, at least not in noticeable quantities, until I was in my early twenties. I was dating a girl that liked to try exotic things. She took me to a Vietnamese restaurant called Saigon. I can't recall exactly what the dish was, but it was basically beef with a medley of veggies. Ugh... I took one bite and was almost nauseous. There was something in it that tasted like perfume. It was way too powerful. I couldn't eat it. My girlfriend (now ex) thought I was just being boring, that I was reflexively rejecting the food because it was different. I pleaded with her that I had no choice. Sure, I could eat it . . . in the same way I could eat through my leg if caught in a bear trap.
It wasn't until around five years later that I discovered cilantro as the offending weed. I ordered a sushi roll. Took a bite. Ugh. There was that awful taste again. I took the roll apart and tasted each ingredient in isolation. Cilantro!