August 27, 2007
I have a sad cilantro story to share with you. My dear husband slaved away on a dinner meal that I cajoled him into making for us, on a Monday night, no less. The meal was loftily entitled "Fruity Chicken Fusilli" and contained about 50,000 ingredients-- mango, turmeric, cardamon, raisins, peanut oil, among others. We actually had to go to four separate stores to find the cardamon, to give you a better sense of the time invested in this particular meal. While said husband chopped and chopped and chopped and measured and chopped, I supported him, like any good wife should, by taking an afternoon nap (to my credit, I did the dishes). For most of the cooking/prep time, the smells wafting from the kitchen were quite fruity and delicious. Finally, with a flourish, he added the last ingredient-- fresh organic cilantro from our local market-- as a garnish to the dazzling pasta dish.
"Dinner is ready!" he called lovingly. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I sniffed the plate placed before me. Puzzled and perplexed, I sniffed again. Intrigued, he sniffed. Wrinkled his nose. He and I locked eyes, registering our mutual concern. To make a long story short, my husband and I have discovered yet another thing we have in common... the existence of a strong, yet not unheard of genetic predisposition towards hating the smell and taste of cilantro. In keeping with those of you who share our misfortune, cilantro to us smells and tastes like something almost indescribably evil... something rancid, yet soapy... some might even liken the taste to savoring a mouthful of polished nickels (not that I would know what this tastes like).
Unlike when I was a little girl, I have grown to be quite adventurous in my zest for food and cooking. I honestly could say that there wasn't any food I wouldn't try. I have met my match. Never ever again, if I can help it, will I let a fresh green sprig of heinous C-I-L-A-N-T-R-O (a.k.a. coriander) cross these lips.