November 30, 2006
The first time I had cilantro was in a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco about 15 years ago. I was in college and visiting my uncle on a trip with my dad. I was starving and had just dug into my first taste of the salsa when I became very worried. Clearly, someone was attempting to poison me. I spit my food into my napkin and waited for the effects of the poison to begin. Nothing! In fact others at the table were eagerly eating the stuff. Were they crazy?! I told my dad, "I think they spilled some kind of chemical in the salsa. There is something wrong with it." He said it tasted fine to him. I asked for another bowl and tried a bite but it too had clearly been tainted.
6 months later at a Thai restaurant in Minneapolis I detected the same poisonous flavor in my Tom Yum Soup. My friend explained to me that it was supposed to taste like that--it was called cilantro!
Since that time I have been plagued by the noxious herb many times. I love food, am not the least picky eater. In fact, cilantro is just about the only "food" I will not eat. It does not taste even remotely like any other food on this earth.