December 28, 2005
I never knew how much I hated cilantro when I was a kid. This is probably because I've always been a picky eater, so I didn't usually branch out and try new foods. But when I was 14 I got a job working on an organic vegetable farm.
I loved the job, and everything was going great, until the day my group had to work on weeding the herb garden. OH MAN! Within a minute of being on my hands and knees, picking weeds off of a plot labelled 'Cilantro', I felt extremely dizzy. My head was pounding and my nostrils were full of this awful smell. It was part rot, part soap, part god-knows-what-else. I sincerely thought I was going to pass out.
I jumped up and begged my supervisor to let me do something else for the rest of the day. Luckily, he did, and I didn't have to touch the cilantro for the rest of the time I worked there.
BUT! A few days after my cilantro encounter, I developed a terrible rash of big pulsing boils on the side of one of my legs! My doctor said it was 'contact dermatitis', which is basically an umbrella term for 'we don't know what the heck it is, here's some cream for it'. But I KNEW it was from that blasted cilantro!
They had to lance my boils in the most hideously painful way imaginable, and I've been avoiding cilantro like the plague ever since.