April 25, 2010
When I was a child, I lived in the country. I remember having loads of fun riding my horses through the fields. Every summer, there was on occasion, a noxious odor that would permeate the countryside. I had asked my Mother once when I was helping her in the vegetable garden if she could smell it. She informed me it was called 'stinkweed' that would grow in patches in fields and near ponds. It was a really nasty odor.
Years later, when I was in my thirties, I had gone to a Mexican restaurant that I had never been to. I loved Mexican food, never had any trouble with it, except for the occasional heartburn from too much spiceyness, but it was worth the occasional heartburn risk, in my mind.
We, (my then husband and I) had ordered the new restaurant's specialties, that was recommended by our server. He told us what was in the dishes, and I do vaguely remember him asking us if we liked cilantro. Well, we really didn't know what cilantro was at the time, and figured since we had been to quite a few Mexican restaurants, we had eaten it before, and liked it.
When the dishes were brought to us, we happily dug into them. Right after my first bite, I noticed a peculiar aftertaste. I remember thinking how familiar the odor was, but couldn't place it at the time. My husband had the same look on his face, and I asked him if he noticed a wierd aftertaste. He replied 'yes, kind of a chemical or soapy taste.' We thought maybe we had eaten something earlier, or it was a new mouthwash we were trying out, and it was not mixing well with our food.
After we had finished, (we were really hungry that evening, but we both had left 3/4 of the food on our plates) we asked for a takehome bag. We immediately went to the store and bought Pepto Bismal, hoping whatever that horrible taste in our mouths would go away after using the Pepto. Unfortunately, it didn't, and our stomach upset turned into full blown stomach pain and nausea.
We wanted to go home and lay down, but we were supposed to meet another couple and go to the Comedy Club that night. We didn't want to ruin their night out, so we went ahead thinking that our discomfort would eventually go away. We were absolutely miserable that night, even though the comedian was good. Our friends suggested that we either had a stomach virus, or maybe we ate something spoiled. The next day was better, so we figured it must have been the food, so we never ate there again, and the takehome bags were thrown out.
Years later, I ran into the cilantro herb again, and this time when I smelled it, the odor I couldn't place before came immediately to my mind. It smelled just like stinkweed! I wondered why ANYONE would want to put stinkweed in their food? Apparently, (I found out) not everyone can smell, or taste that disgusting odor. How can they not? I wondered.
I grow an herb garden now, and yes, I do have cilantro in my garden. I don't know why I got it, maybe because I am trying to give it a chance, but it will probably never be used, and I'll end up pulling the whole plant up and giving it to someone else, because of the stench it creates.