December 20, 2010
I can't say that I remember my first experience with cilantro. Like many people, I had a series of unfortunate experiences in restaurants where I thought the food was spoiled or that someone had forgotten to rinse the soap off of the dishes. Only later did I discover the real reason behind the nastiness -- that vile, noxious weed of the Devil known as cilantro. Now I endure scorn at restaurants, and new friends staring at me like I have a couple of extra heads or eyeballs. I want to point out, however, that I'm an extremely adventurous eater and I like just about anything...but cilantro is the single most horrible thing I have ever placed in my mouth. Ever. And this is coming from someone who has willingly eaten things like chicken feet (they aren't too bad, actually).
Anyway, worst cilantro story. My roommate came home from work one night, and she was all excited. She knew how much I loved new and interesting ethnic foods, and her coworker from Israel had made some funky green dipping sauce. She brought it home for me so I could try it. I smelled something that made me a little suspicious, and asked if there was any cilantro in it. She said that she didn't think so, probably because she's one of those people who swears that cilantro doesn't taste like anything. I remember standing in the kitchen, scooping up a spoonful, putting it in my mouth...and instantaneously feeling as if I'd been kicked full-force in the mouth. I spat -- and we're talking projectile spitting here -- the loathesome mass into the sink, retching horribly, and desperately tried to rinse out my mouth. I couldn't get rid of the taste for hours. My poor roommate felt so bad. :-(