August 05, 2006
I can't believe I'm not the only one! My first experience with cilantro was only about 10 years ago when I was introduced to The Mexican Restuarant. My aunt was always carrying on about these enchiladas and Mexican food and so we went with her. I had two (I think chicken) enchiladas with rice and beans, chips and salsa... all that, plate covered with cheese. I got soooo sick I thought I was going to die. Well, for some reason I didn't attribute this to what I had eaten. Chicken, tortillas, cheese... these were all things I was accustomed to. Next Mexican trip, I got even sicker. This time I assumed it was the cheese they were using. I have a dairy allergy and am lactose intolerant- at times- and figured it must be the Mexican cheese that was affecting me. Next trip, I get no cheese. Same effect.
Let me mention, I was like 14-15 years old at this time and eating out with my family- with no choice in venue.
Another time I tried ordering plain tacos with no cheese guessing that something in the chicken or beans was making me sick. Still got sick. I tried a salad with no meat and not only did I get those terrible stomach cramps and the gagging and throwing up and headache and all the other unpleasantness, but my lip also swelled up on this occasion. So, having still never even heard of cilantro, I assumed that it was some kind of hot peppers in the food that had been the culprit.
As I got older I learned that Mexican food was tres chic among my peers and I became an irritation for many friends because I wouldn't go Mexican with them.
At some point in time my sister and I started watching Food Network a lot and cooking with different stuff (believe me, my mom had never ever put that offending cilantro in anything) and either my sister or my stepdad cooked something with cilantro at the house one day. I smelled it and my stomach started turning and the gagging started and something seemed familiar about it. I got some to taste and... of course got sick... had found my culprit.
So, now I know that it is the cilantro that makes me so sick, but I do not touch anything resembling Mexican food and am still very unpopular when everyone's tired of eating the same old thing and I will not go Mexican, or it's dollar margarita night and I still will not go Mexican. Fortunately, my husband hates beans and won't go into a Mexican restuarant, either.
We were in California a couple of weeks ago and I had to be very careful in ordering. It did seem that they were using the stuff like salt or black pepper in their dishes.