September 14, 2012
I was never familiar with cilantro until adulthood, because my mother despised it, and we never had it in our house (the smell alone still makes her nauseated). To me, cilantro smells and tastes like something rotten in the refrigerator. I hear it described as "soapy" quite often, but to me it smells worse than that - almost putrid. I'm of Mexican descent, believe it or not.
Having said all that, if cilantro is cooked into a dish, it is not so offensive. Almost like parsley - not necessarily a flavor I would add, but not "rotten."
Some of my favorite ethic foods - Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian - use a lot of cilantro, so for the last few years I've been trying to acclimate myself to it. I think I read somewhere that you can build a tolerance for it little by little. But I'm not there yet. I love most foods and flavors - strong, spicy, curried, bitter. It kind of bothers me that I can't accept this herb.
I wonder of there is any correlation between a dislike for cilantro and papaya. To me, papaya smells like hot vomit.