October 13, 2006
While travelling around this amazing world, I sat down to a great looking meal on a calm beach under a thatched rooflet in Thailand. Took a bite and wow, needed to get that horrid taste out of my mouth. I'd never hated a food before. This was awful. Offensive. Vile. It had to go!
But what was it? I set out to learn, finally realizing it was the very, very tiny green stuff in this dish. Putting a bit in my hand, I took it to the kitchen and asked, learning the Thai name for it. For the duration of my travels through Thailand I knew how to say "no cinantro" in Thai. (I forgot the word now. Sorry.)
I loved Thailand, but was happy that upon leaving I'd never have to deal with that awful taste again.
And then... I ended up living in Los Angeles.
Ugh. Cinantro is in nearly everything in LA! Even in Italian! I cannot go out to any meal and order without asking if they put Cilantro on it. I spent 6 months in India and never had Cilantro. Here, it turns up in Indian. Why? Why to chefs think it's the coolest taste to hit the world. There have been times, out with friends, where the chef has had to come out and figure out the one thing on the menu that didn't have Cilantro in it for me to order.
I certainly hope that Cilantro-in-every-food-in-LA is a bad fad that will die out. 16+ years and still hoping it's just a fad...
But perhaps the worst was going back to my native NYC and finding it turning up there. It's spreading!
We can't have honey peanuts on airplanes any more, but our food is infested with this green hell food. Go figure.
The madness has to stop! Chefs - listen please. Many of us hate Cilantro! It's not cool.