April 06, 2014
Eating is undoubtedly one of the few activities that I enjoy and can invest my all in. I knew no boundaries. I could not be controlled. I could face all kinds of foods, ranging from cow tongue to pig feet. Never once was I faced with adversity until the fateful day,.....
Being Korean, I thought a diverse Asian cuisine was nothing to fear. My dad took my family and me to the now-closed Saigon Grill in NYC (RIP) to eat some Vietnamese. Not having much exposure to Vietnamese, I was anxious and willing to try it. Needless to say, I trusted my dad who had more experience with Vietnamese food to order and handle the dishes, trusting that he would know the "right" things to order. He didn't. Like any typical restaurant, the appetizer came first: the spring roll. The spring roll is rice noodles, shredded vegetables, and shrimp rolled up in wet rice paper, which is then typically dipped in a delectably decadent sauce. I held the roll in my chopstick, carefully scrutinizing it. Assuming that it had passed the "security check", I took a bite.
I first tasted the sauce. Then the shrimp, and then.. WHAT DID I TASTE. It definitely was NOT the lettuce and cabbage inside of the roll. It was not of this universe. It was indeed something that Satan, Lucifer, Asmodeus, Mammon, Leviathan, Beelzebub, and Belphegor had spawned to take revenge on God's people: cilantro. Not wanting to be rude, I swallowed the god-forsaken fruit of the devil, praying I would be able to endure the vile and putrid flavor and odor of cilantro. Cilantro has made me lose hope in humanity. In Vietnam. And even my own father.