May 03, 2006
We were working in in a squatter town outside of Lima, Peru, and I was 27 years old. Having lived in Lima for a year, the Peruvian diet was antyhing but French cuisine: rice, boiled chicken, and any time they had the chance - cilantro. Cilantro in soup, on chicken, over trout (that came from Canada). Now, I had the misfortune of eating uncooked chicken with cilantro and became violently ill with food poisoning, or clostridium botulism. For days I vomitted, and when finally feeling better, I headed out for some good soup, which also was topped with cilantro, and an egg which gave me food poisoning for the second time within 10 days. Finally, after this recovery, I ate once again in the same area of Mira Flores Peru and made the mistake of having chicken with unrefrigerated mayonnaise, and obtained food poisoning for, yes, the third time in less than three weeks. Somehow, on each occasion the smell of cilantro was so strong that my olfactory memory would not let go of the odour of what some of you refer to as 'doll's hair.' The following Thanksgiving, in Toronto, my brother served the turkey, with a side of cilantro, and I had to run to the bathroom with the very real sensation of vomitting, due to the memory flooding back. Ever since, I have hated cilantro, and still cannot stand the sight, and even more powerfully, the smell of the rotten little coriander plant.I support your disdain for cilantro, and I HATE CILANTRO TOO!!