July 01, 2011
I absolutely hated cilantro upon my first encounter, in Mexican food like many others. I was 16 and out to dinner with my first boyfriend's family, for his birthday no less! I loved (and still do) Mexican, so I'm not sure how I managed to avoid it for so long. Perhaps the dish I ordered was exceptionally smothered in the leaves? All I know is that when I took my first bite of my usually harmless enchilada, a horrible taste filled my mouth. I literally felt like I was chewing on a bar of soap. I almost gagged.
For years I avoided this herb with a vengeance. I explicitly ordered my food prepared sans cilantro and, if I spied some stragglers, was careful to scraped it off or extract it out of my dish.
I've since learned to deal with it. I'm no cilantro fan by any means, but a sprinkling of it for garnish is ok with me. Actually, I guess I should add the caveat that the level of "Meh. It's ok." level rises in direct proportion to the amount of drinks I've had!
Has anyone else noticed this herb infiltrating other cusines? I see it EVERYWHERE now! I've noticed that a lot of chefs add it in place of basil, and it seems to have overtaken parsley as the standard garnish. Hmm.