May 15, 2010
The first time I remember eating cilantro is when I had a otherwise awesome chicken burrito from a local restaurant. As I was enjoying my burrito I recall taking a bite and then experiencing the most awful, bitter dish-soap taste in my mouth. I could not understand why these dark green strands of absolute nastiness were strewn throughout my dinner. I also could not understand why the restaurant had even put them there to begin with, everything had tasted great until I encountered it. I was probably a young teenager at the time. The next time I had a bad cilantro incident was from a Thai restaurant. I had a couple bites of a salad roll, and instantly memories of the burrito from years ago came to my mind. That salad roll was thrown. That night I woke up and was sick to my stomach; it was perhaps the worst time I had been sick like that in my life.
I tried to explain to others what cilantro tasted like to me, but I was always told that it was all in my head and that "cilantro really does not taste like anything, I don't know why you get all bent out of shape when it is in your food." This led me avoid Mexican food and to be weary of Thai food, and this went on for years. When I met my fiancee (who is half-Mexican) I was reintroduced to Mexican food and I have learned to like it, but I have to request no cilantro at all restaurants and taco stands. No cilantro tends to mean "less cilantro" when you order in my experience, so I always have to tell the waiter that I am severely allergic and I can't have any cilantro even as a garnish (if it even *touches* my food, it will taste like soap to me.)
Recently I've learned that it is a genetic "defect" of sorts. A smaller part of the population just doesn't taste cilantro "right." It makes sense, since my father cannot tolerate cilantro at all just like me, though my brother and mother love it.
I'm thrilled to find this website and to know that there are others out there like me that absolutely despise cilantro!