December 03, 2012
I loathe the stuff! If I ever see any on my plate I remove it. Even if I tell the waiters that I'm allergic to it, they just don't seem to care. Sometimes though you discover it too late, especially when it's mixed in with a salad. I first noticed that I would react by getting blemishes on my face which I thought were just pimples, so I didn't immediately associate the two things. Then over the years these became more severe - within 6-10 hours I would get a huge red, hard angry lump, always on my face, that was not a pimple, but more like a blister. The worst one ever was just under my eye. It was so bad I took three days off work,and the doctor thought I might have shingles. They usually last 2 weeks before they go down, and nothing I take (not even antihistamines) will make them go away any quicker. The scars can stay for anything up to 6 or 9 months. The worst experience I had was when I accidentally ate some at a Thai restaurant. Within minutes I started to cough, and couldn't stop. I coughed for something like 14 hours. I think it should be banned, in the same way MSG is here.
The worst thing is that those who are not affected don't take it seriously, and look at you as though you are mad. Last week we had a Christmas function at the Sydney Opera House's 5 star restaurant. I spoke to the waiter taking my order and he duly noted I had an allergy to cilantro and chilli. I ordered a tuna entree (no mention of cilantro) and in the dim lighting didn't see there was a tiny piece of it in the garnish. By then it was too late. I was housebound for a whole weekend with a red lump the size of a 10 cent piece on my chin. It makes me so angry. I mean would they put peanuts in the food if someone had a peanut allergy?!