October 09, 2007
Dear readers my first experience with Cilantro/Coriander was so traumatic that I have spent many years purging the details from my memory, please forgive my ambiguity, as I forge ahead with my tale of woe.
I first encountered Cilantro/Coriander as a young adult who loved going out for dinner!
We were a small group, experiencing new restuarants. I think I was eating a tomato salad or some such raw appetiser, that had what I thought was parsley in it.
Well, before I even had time to close my mouth, I started gaging. The desire to vomit was so strong and overwhelming that I literally had to turn my head to side and try not to heave in front on my friends (embarressingly I failed).
My reaction was so strong, it caused my party to be genuinely concerened for my welfare. When I finally did compose myself, I made enquiries as to the nature of the food I was consuming. Upon discovering it was not parsley, I concluded, out loud, that the Cilantro/Coriander had simply produced the undesired effect. Well, I may as well have admitted to having three heads, because that is how my party viewed me after my conclusion.
So in the space of few minutes, I experienced, shock, suprise, nausea, restraint, embarressment, sympathy, concern, incredulity, public humiliation (all not necessarily in that order) and finally isolation.
Since then, I have found out the hard way, that Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican and other Asian cultures use Cilantro/Coriander and have spent the last 25 years avoiding it. Not always successfully.
Sadly, food has become a victim of fashion and where basil was once (for a too brief period of time) considered the herb of the season, it was soon replaced with Cilantro/Coriander which has not yet gone out of fashion years and years and years later! (Groan)
I have since met two other people who do have the same reation. Not because they do not like the taste, rather Cilantro/Coriander actually irritates the gag reflex, causing an uncontrollable urge to vomit. Hence, my sharing my tale of woe with you dear readers.
I seek is assistance:
A) Are there other people out here in "I hate
Cilantro" land, who have as violant a reaction as I do?
B) Would my reaction be considered a food intolerance or sensitivity?
C) With the exception of the two people who I have met; am I alone in this?
D) Is there something odd about me?
E) Personally, I think Cilantro/Coriander smells and tastes like vomit - not dish water. Is that because of my first encounter or the association I have with it or are there others out there who think the same?
Guys, I told my tale a little melodramatically. Yet, I am seriously seeking guidance with the questions I'm asking.
Please write back. I am tired of people not believing me when I say I am allergic to the stuff. I would really like to say it is a common complaint, if that is indeed true and talk about it as if I know what I am talking about... you know... using big words, having data (even anecdotal) to back up my claim etc.
(Not so) MerryM