September 21, 2013
I was pretty young. I think I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. We had a school garden and had planted cilantro (called coriander where I live). Anyway, when the time came to harvest the stuff I noticed it had a very strong and unpleasant smell. It made me feel quite unwell. Regardless, everyone else was tasting the stuff, so I did too. Everyone else seemed fine with the coriander, but I thought it was disgusting! Within about 20 minutes I had a terrible headache and had to sit outside in the fresh air for the rest of the afternoon because I felt so unwell.
Since then I've run across coriander several times in meals, normally sauces, and been unable to avoid it. To start with I didn't make the connection between that horrid herb in the school garden and the thing I was tasting in my food, but then it clicked. Afterwards I always had a pounding headache.
Now I just refuse to eat anything with coriander in it. I tend not to enjoy a lot of foreign foods, and it isn't often used in traditional New Zealand fare, so it's easy enough to avoid.