June 06, 2006
Ohmigosh.....and to think that I was suffering alone all these years...I could have really used the internet back in the day?!
My first memory (pre-cilantro) was when I when I was a kid....how that curly leaf parsley tasted like the water you drank out of a garden hose on one of those really hot days. Mom said it was all in my head. Happy ending to this story, I've grown to like curly leaf parsley. For the horror I now live, read on......
My mom is a great cook. In fact, probably one of the greatest ones I know. The only dish I remember really disliking as a child was her chinese chicken salad. Yup, little did I know, she put chopped corriander leaves in it. I never knew at the time why I always felt sick while eating the dish. I eventually realized it was those little green flecks of nastiness that made me feel ill. Mom told me that it was all in my head. She must have believed me a little because she also once said I'd grow out of it.
In college, I didn't know that corriander was the same stuff as cilantro. A group of friends and I were gathering at one of our apartments for a nice homemade "mexican" dinner. I was in charge of setting the table while the others were in the kitchen preparing the food. After setting the table, I walked into the kitchen and began gagging. I mean REALLY gagging. You know, the kind where your throat makes these unbelievable noises that you never knew you could make. I had no idea why. I walked back into the dining room and I was fine. When I went back into the kitchen, I started doing the gagging, retching, almost like you're going to dry heave dance. My eyes were watering and I thought I was going to die!! One of my friends started cracking up because she realized that it was the cilantro (a whole freakin' cup of it) she had just chopped that was affecting me this way. Yeah, really funny....nobody else seemed to be affected. I told my mom what had happened. Yup, she said that it was only in my head.
Well, I have tried and tried to eat cilantro. Even taking little bitty bites of it. Nope, I just can't stomach it. Nor the smell. Somehow my mom keeps giving me that look like I'm faking it. At least now she makes her chinese chicken salad with a bowl of chopped cilantro ON THE SIDE. Thanks, mom...I love you to the sky and back...AND NO, I HAVEN'T GROWN OUT OF IT!! I'm just happy that I've found a community of people who know what the heck I've been going through!