July 12, 2007
It was November 1989. I just moved to Seattle. I went to a Mexican restaurant at the University Village. I ordered food.
The food came. I bit into it. It tasted weird. I bit into it again. It tasted bad weird. As a matter of fact, it tasted like Joy dishwashing detergent. I took another bite. I couldn't eat it. I called the waiter over and politely but confidently told him the dish with my food hadn't been rinsed properly and had dishwashing detergent still on it. He looked confused. "Do you happen to use Joy dishwashing detergent?" I asked. He was confused.
He, the friend I was with, and myself hovered over my plate to figure out the problem. As I sniffed around my food, I was drawn to the green stuff scattered here and there. The Joy scent was stronger near this green stuff. I picked up a piece and sniffed it unmolested. It smelled of Joy dishwashing detergent. I bit into it specifically. It tasted like Joy dishwashing detergent.
I asked him what was it. He said, "Cilantro." I asked him if they washed their produce with Joy dishwashing detergent. He scoffed. He was done with me.
My friend, having already lived in Seattle for about 5 years, seemed brainwashed on cilantro by this time. She was matter of fact, "Yeah, it's just cilantro." I couldn't eat my meal. Ruined ...
... As is every other meal in the universe accosted by this stuff.
I have not researched cilantro, but I find it strange that it is now commonly accepted as an "ingredient" in both Asian and Latin American foods. It seemed to have come "out of the green" in the late '80s. People seem to just accept it. I find this suspicious. I don't believe it. Anything written anywhere on its history has to have been contrived.
Just like my conspiracy theorist aunt believes that canola oil is a government conspiracy involving Canada, mustard seed-->mustard gas, and mad cow disease (and I have researched this, and it's all untrue), I do believe that cilantro is a government conspiracy. But how it works and for what purpose I do not know. Perhaps we can figure this out together.