July 11, 2007
My first run-in with cilantro was on Christmas Eve day in 1997. My boss had taken us all to lunch at Chili's, and then we were going home early. My boyfriend met us there to have lunch with us. I ordered something that had black bean soup with it. I love black bean soup, and I was looking forward to its warmth on that cold day. When I took the first bite, I said, "Eeew... they need to talk to their dishwasher about rinsing these bowls better! This soup tastes like Dawn!" My boyfriend and everyone else at the table said their soup was delicious, and he tasted mine and said it tasted great. I tasted his, and it tasted like detergent! They all thought I was crazy.
It was a few months later that I noticed the salsa at a new Mexican restaurant tasted like soap to me while everyone else loved it. I still didn't know exactly what the ingredient was that I hated, but it was turning up in a LOT more foods and I did NOT appreciate that at all!
At some point, I mentioned all of this to my mom and she said, "It's the cilantro! That stuff tastes like soap to me, too, but it's becoming more and more popular. People seem to either love it or hate it." We both agreed that we hated it.
Later, a friend told me that the soapy taste was an indication that we're allergic to cilantro, but I've read since that that's not true. All I know is that it really, really irks me to find those little green leaves in any food I've been looking forward to enjoying because I know for sure that I won't be eating it after all!