June 23, 2011
Years ago, my husband and I had lunch at an El Torito in CA. I ordered some combo plate, and everything was tasty except ONE item. I could NOT figure out what was wrong with it; it tasted *spoiled* to me. I literally thought they'd used an ingredient that had gone bad.
I asked my husband to taste it, and he said it was fine. I said, "Seriously?" The waiter asked how we were doing, and I told him I thought something was rotten in in the item. He was sort of huffy about it, and brought the cook out. The cook was OFFENDED when I told him it just didn't taste right to me. He TOOK A FORK and ATE A BITE off of the plate, and said, "Is delicious!!"
The manager comp'd my meal; we paid for my husband's. I was perplexed that no one else could taste the "spoiled" tastes, but soon forgot about it.
Fast forward several years (and this must have been before the cilantro CRAZE of the last few years of putting it in EVERYTHING), and I found a website that I loved. I won't mention it here, but she's a ranch wife in Oklahoma, and has a blog, and now a cooking show... I *love* her site!
And a HUGE part of the site is cooking! I have tried many, MANY of her recipes with great success...until I tried a Chinese Noodle Salad recipe. It called for cilantro...a LOT of cilantro. An obscene amount of cilantro; she claimed it's what absolutely made the dish, that you couldn't put enough in there. So, loving her other recipes, I obeyed.
I didn't notice so much as I chopped the stuff up; the smell was not appealing, but I trusted that it was supposed to do something in combination with the other ingredients (which were yummy!). But, as I have learned since then, if EACH ingredient isn't delicious to you, you won't like it in the finished product, either.
Unfortunately, I loaded ALL of the cilantro called for into the noodle salad. I tossed, I coated, I chilled. It LOOKED MAGNIFICENT! And then I *tasted* it...
I was back at El Torito. THAT's what the noxious flavor was!! And here I had a GIGANTIC bowl of noodles and veggies and dressing...that I couldn't eat. There was cilantro *everywhere* in there. I tried another bite, just to see if I could push past the cilantro.