April 18, 2006
During college I learned to eat and enjoy a wide variety of foods from the far east - Indian, Japanese (raw fish, yum!), Thai, etc. So when I returned to Northern Virginia after graduation, I decided to attempt a new asian cuisine - Vietnamese. Arlington (right across the Potomac from Washington D.C.) has about 10 Vietnamese restaurants within walking distance of each other. I chose one that specifically served pho, which is Vietnamese beef noodle soup. The smell outside the pho restaurant was intoxicating - slightly sweet and aromatic. I ordered what seemed like a safe choice - eye round steak in a bowl of noodles. When I took the first bite I was certain the steak was rotten, or else that the chef had somehow gone ahead and put tripe or soft tendon in mine (two other options for pho). I left thinking that I absolutely hated pho and would never eat it again.
A few years later I was eating salsa and noticed the same taste - and that's when I realized it was actually the cilantro I hated. I went back to the pho restaurant and ordered it sans-cilantro. Voila! Pho is now my favorite food.
My friends and coworkers can't seem to believe that cilantro could taste that bad to me. I was so happy to find this site and see that other people feel the same way! I'd really like to know what the cause of the cilantro distaste is.