January 26, 2011
The researcher mentioned in Wikipedia surmises that cilantro aversion stems from a lack of response to its pleasing odor. This is clearly wrong (and he clearly lacks the aversion). One of the bad things about cilantro is that you usually don't know it's there until you taste it. The bitter response is intense, worse than to pharmaceutical-grade morphine, which I've tasted (more metallic but less nauseating than cilantro, with a weaker gag response). What amazes me is that I ate Mexican/Thai/Chinese food for over 40 years without ever encountering cilantro. Now it appears everywhere, and I've had to stop eating Mexican food entirely. Restaurants put it in everything now. I have a long list of restaurants I won't eat at now.
I am curious what percentage of the population has the bitter receptor; my estimates from asking college classes is less than 5%, but those surveys were informal and not random.