June 13, 2006
I have hated cilantro since I first encountered it back in 1987 while eating at a restaurant in Providence, RI (the memory is still vivid). Since then, I take every effort to avoid it (I will spend between 10 to 30 minutes using the tines of a fork picking it out of my food if the restaurant screws up on my "no cilantro" request). One day, I had to make a last-minute stop at the grocery store because I needed lettuce (for my rabbit). I was slightly distracted because my boyfriend, whom at the time I had just started dating, was with me. In trying to find a fresh head of lettuce, I had to move a rubber banded bunch of greens that had fallen from an upper produce shelf into the lettuces. I paid for the lettuce and we left the store. I soon smelled something awful and in trying to find out the source, I was horrified to learn that the stink was from my hand. I then realized that the bunch of greens I had moved out of the lettuces must have been cilantro. Since we were in the middle of a city sidewalk, I ran to the first bush I could find that bore somewhat fragrant leaves, grabbed a handful of leaves, and started smashing and rubbing them within my hands to try to get the disgusting smell off. I did this two or three times. My boyfriend (now husband) thought I was nuts. But the bush leaves worked pretty well.