November 07, 2013
I don't remember my first encounter, but I know that I used to find it disgusting. As a child I grew up with a fascination with insects and handling them.
When I first ate cilantro, it came off to me as one of those defensive smells that insects secret when under distress. (True bugs, or even the smell some ant species secret when their nest is disturbed. I avoided cilantro for a long time. Teen years and my 20's. Tastes not as much like soap but just like defensive bio-chemical. Ick.
But recently I've been trying to be more adventurous and expanding my palate. I've accomplished being able to eat it in some recipes, but not everything. I can mildly enjoy it in some Mexican and asian foods. But it still takes forcing myself to ignore the bug defense taste/smell that comes as the first note. My most recent encounter was trying it in a cold spread mixed with tomatoes, basil and other herbs. Ick. Horrible. Later when I got a cold and plugged nose, I thought I could eat it without tasting it. Nope. Still got all biochemical taste with little of the other stuff.
I'll also add that there are other foods I struggle with. Buckwheat honey (I've come to tolerate and enjoy somewhat), will first smell like a zoo/ barn before I can taste anything good. I can also add that I struggle with some floral scents/tastes too. I suspect that may have something to do.
So I guess I'm kinda against the grain a bit on this site. A cilantro hater trying my best to not be. I'm trying to be a lover but really struggling. My story may help add some support for the gene theory. it would be interesting if I test to be one of those lacking an enzyme. As much as I try to use cilantro, and even become somewhat accustomed to the flavor I get in some dishes, I still wonder how the rest of the world is tasting it. What is the plant supposed to taste like? (Not like a stink bug I gather, lol.)