August 17, 2013
I was probably in my early 20's when I first encountered cilantro. Never having been much of a fan of Mexican food (which tends to include an obscene amount of the vile poison), I hadn't ever eaten it before. However, despite my distaste for Mexican food (read: I don't like having diarrhea), I went out one night with some friends to our local Mexican joint and ordered what appeared to be the least offensive item on the menu.
The trouble started, however, with the first bite of the complimentary salsa and chips. There was a distinctly soapy tang to the salsa -- a tang so intense I thought for sure that some soap must have been spilled into the salsa before it was brought to us. A glance around the table, however, revealed that my companions were gleefully downing veritable buckets of the stuff. "Hmm," I thought, "perhaps it's just my bowl." I asked the server if she could please get me a clean bowl and, a little confused, she complied. This bowl of salsa, too, tasted distinctly, horribly of soap. In fact, the flavor was stronger this time around (presumably because the chef felt that he hadn't tormented his customers enough with the first batch, and added more of that most evil of plantlife).
I asked my friends if they noticed anything funny about the salsa, and they said no. I resigned myself to not eating it, and waited for my meal which, thankfully, did not taste like the scrapings of the soap dish in my shower. (It did, however, give me diarrhea, so there's that...)
Fast forward about three years of me always being the odd man out who didn't trust Mexican restaurants, and I meet the person who is now my best friend. As I related to her the story I just told you, her eyes grew wide and she said, with no small degree of relief "I thought I was the only one."