August 30, 2006
As a 17 year old in receipt of my first pay packet I decided to treat my family to an Indian takeaway. Flush, I extravagantly ordered to my heart's content a variety of meals. At home, I proudly dished up the meal and sat down, salivating in anticipation. The first mouth full was all it took to turn my smile upside down. Not wanting to spoil the mood, I persevered but it didnít get better, everything had a pungent taste that I couldnít describe. The rest of my family ate heartedly whilst I was very much disgusted and disappointed. I hated the taste and left the food to waste.
I couldnít work out what the problem was because every dish had the same underlying taste, therefore it meant that I couldnít just say I wonít eat the chicken or the beef so I gave up on eating Indian from that day on and became somewhat of a food leper.
It would cause problems because when my work colleagues were arranging outings for lunch, Christmas or leaving dos, when someone suggested we should Ďgo for an Indianí I would always be the one to reject the idea so the whole group would be forced to try something else or I would not go.
Fifteen years on, a new job and work colleagues and more mature, I decided to give our local Indian restaurant that offered wonderful lunch time buffet deals a go. I had rice and chicken dish which was divine and thanked my lucky stars that ďthat tasteĒ that I hate so much all those years ago was not there. Returning to the same restaurant a week later I carefully selected the same meal that I had enjoyed before and to my horror, you guessed it, the pungent taste had returned. I scraped the sauce that I had so generously placed on and over the rice to one side and picked at the uncontaminated bits of rice. That was it for me and I still hadnít worked out what it was that I didnít like.
This year, my work restaurant serve a selection of freshly made speciality soups on the menu every day and that became my food of choice for lunch. One day on the menu was Carrot and Coriander soup which I picked without thought. One spoon full however was enough for me to finally,17 years later, put a name to the most awful, offensive and thoroughly undesirable tasting herb. I was relieved when I realised what it was because it now means that I can avoid it like the plague or whilst dining out make a request for my meal to exclude it.
My partner, who is a chef, doesnít understand my aversion and thought perhaps that I was joking and/or underestimating my dislike of this herb. So one day he added it to a meal without my knowledge. As usual the food looked appetising but I took one bite of a the dish that he prepared and told him, I cant eat it and that I knew that it had coriander in it, he was surprised but at least he now knows that Iím not joking, I really donít like it.