June 23, 2006
A friend of mine & I went out grocery shopping one nice weekend day, we were hanging out and we both enjoy cooking. He wanted to make a Mexican dish, and bought a healthy handful of the vile weed. We were in the kitchen, he was chopping it up (he loves the stuff, I mean, *loves* it) and he gave me a bit to taste. I chewed it for a bit, and the unholy nastiness of the taste made me want to hoark right then and there. I spit it into the trash when he wasn't looking, thinking it was over, but then the aftertaste came upon me. And didn't leave for a couple of hours. I finally had to tell him that it was the nastiest thing I'd ever tasted in my life. It doesn't especially taste like soap, or metallic to me. It tastes more like earwax.
The cilantro-lover that he is, he seems to think that it's an acquired taste and I will learn to love it. (once, in a health food store, he had me chew up and taste a seed. it was coriander. I noticed the taste instantly.) It isn't that simple. I'm not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination, and I can't name any type of food that I actively avoid.
I cannot tolerate cilantro. The smell makes me nauseous, and if i detect it in a dish it's all I can taste for hours. If it is used in moderation (which it rarely is) I can almost choke the food down, but I can't taste any other flavors in the food.
My worst experience with cilantro: I ordered a couple of veggie wraps at our university's food court, and took a bite or two... I was thinking to myself, I know that taste... not good, had a few more bites, had to unwrap it to inspect.. and it was full of fresh cilantro. I was eating what must have been a handful of cilantro mixed with salsa in a tortilla. They should put warning stickers on these things. A big green Mr. Yuk sticker that says "danger: cilantro."
Tonight I was out shopping, and came across some nice, fresh guacamole, which I love, and is really hard to find in this town for some reason. So I get home, start enjoying it with some chips, and noticed a bad taste and I couldn't eat much of it. I realized what the taste was, looked at the label and sure enough, cilantro. Who would have thought they would have laced perfectly good guacamole with that poison weed? It's been 3 hours now and I can still taste it, and it has a side effect this time of moving into my sinuses and eyes are starting to sting. lovely.
Interesting facts that I learned about cilantro tonight, on the 'net: The taste (whether you find it pleasing or not) may be genetic, it may have something to do with a reaction with metal dental fillings (which i have, but seems unlikely since even the smell makes me gag,) and Julia Child never used it because she said it "tastes like dirt."