October 19, 2007
I was about 17 when I first encountered cilantro. I was working in the kitchen of a health food store. I enjoyed the job, until I had to make up a recipe that included cilantro.
In the walk in cooler I found the box containing the cilantro. I opened it up and was assaulted by the odour of that noxious weed. There were about 60 bundles of the stuff in a small space. I was certain something was horribly wrong.
I grabbed a bundle and brought it to the head chef. "What the hell is wrong with this stuff?" I asked.
She inspected it. "Nothing. It's perfectly fine."
"You mean it's SUPPOSED to smell like that?"
Despite the fact that I was nearly retching, I had to clean and chop the stuff, then simmer it. I couldn't get the smell off my hands. It was DISGUSTING.
Since then I've tried to avoid it, and I've been successful for the past year or so. But then last night I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered a bowl of won ton soup. I LOVE won ton soup, but I rarely get to have it. The bowl was brought over, and there were little green bits floating in it. The smell hit me like a ton of bricks. I almost cried.
I ate the soup anyway, avoiding the actual bits of cilantro floating in the broth. I then spent the rest of the night feeling nauseous, unable to sleep because of the taste of the devil-weed which I just couldn't get rid of.