November 02, 2016
For the first 20-25 years of my life, Cilantro had played no part, blissful years you could say, it was an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to the introduction of this bastard herb/weed into my life.
Okay, so I had just bought a townhouse in the northeast of Calgary. Within a short walk of my house was a well regarded Vietnamese sub shop, called The Yellow Submarine. Now I had heard numerous times, people remarking that a Vietnamese sub is by far the best you can get. So pretty much as soon as I had the chance, I took a trip over to see what all the fuss was about. I cut the sandwich in half to save some for later, took a bite and recoiled at the foul taste that had invaded my mouth. I opened the sub up to examine the contents, there were carrots, cucumbers and some other vegetables I would never dream to put on a sandwich, some satay chicken and what I thought was chopped parsley. Nothing that I could ascertain was responsible for the awful flavor. So I took another bite scowled and gave up, spat out what was in my mouth, disposed of the monstrosity that was in my hand and the other half of the sandwich. All I could reason was the combination of carrots and bizarre vegetables developed this unholy tang, and resigned myself to the fact that all these people that suggested Vietnamese subs were clearly misguided fools and should keep their suggestions to themselves.
About 6 months later I was at my sister and her husband's house for a barbecue. I took a quite a bit of time assembling what looked like a delicious burger. Handformed patties stuffed with a pocket of cheddar, grilled mushrooms and onions, fresh tomatoes and lettuce and smothered the top of the bun with what I thought was a dill/mayo spread. Put all the components together, crushed it beneath my hand and gave it a few minutes for all the flavors to intermingle, while I sipped my beer in anticipation. Finally I could wait no longer and took a huge bite, ensuring I got every part of the burger in my mouth. To my horror, that disgust which I had only known once before had returned. I pleaded with those around me to explain to me what that taste was. My brother in law says its probably the cilantro mayo spread, and I discovered that was indeed the source. Sadly the burger was destroyed, the patty permeated by the stink. However I now had a name, and I vowed never to be fooled again. I even tried another Vietnamese sub sans cilantro and had to admit, it was one of the best damn sandwiches I've ever had.
It just begs the question, why arbitrarily infuse such a polarizing herb with any food recipe, and not leave it as a side. I had an Indian dish tonight which I imagine would have been delicious but for being laced with this crap, boggles the mind.