September 21, 2006
Chinese Wall of Cilantro
My cilantro-addict Chinese wife saw a promo for your website today, and I have to say that finally I have found a group that shares my great passion in life - a hatred for Cilantro.
My first time my taste buds were brutalised by this noxious substance was on visiting a chinese friend's house for noodle soup. We were sitting down for lunch and when I put the first mouthful. Between the my body's instinctive reaction to spit the contents of my mouth all over the table, and my desire to be a polite guest my brain just shutdown. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to chew a bit more and swallow the toxic green leaf.
At the time I was trying to find work in China, so I reasoned that as so many people enjoy it, maybe it just takes time to get used to it. Six months later, after eating a little cilantro almost daily I moved to Chengdu in Sichuan province.
Living in a remote Chinese mining camp,the canteen cook always placed a huge bowl of freshly chopped cilantro as the centrepiece of the table. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. I couldn't even enter the canteen, let alone sit down at the table with that pungent smell. After they noted my reaction to cilantro, my Chinese colleagues used to think it was great sport to sneak up behind me and shove the bowl of freshly chopped stuff in my nose. I was the only person they'd ever met who didn't appreciate the fine taste of it. They stopped after I completely freaked out after a 15 hour workday in a fit of low blood-sugar rage.
I did persist with smaller doses, but after 2 years gave up ever trying to get used to it. I can taste the tiniest flake of the stuff.
Then I went and married a wonderful Chinese lady who loves the stuff as much as I hate it. Whenever she has friends or family over, it reappears in wholesale quantities and I just disappear for a while (usually to buy pizza). So I find myself constantly surrounded by a seemingly unclimbable wall of cilantro.
Just knowing you guys exist gives me the courage to persist. Vive la resistance!!