November 10, 2007
My first encounter with it was on a date many years ago, the first with that particular fellow, and he suggested a Vietnamese restaurant. Since I like Japanese food (at least, the Americanized version), and, while I'm not always in the mood for it, I do eat (again, Americanized) Chinese food, I figured Vietnamese food had to be somewhat similar.
How wrong I was. I had no idea what foul taste had burst upon my unsuspecting tongue, but from that moment on, I vowed to avoid it. I've since been forced by work circumstances to eat in some admittedly fine Vietnamese restaurants (Vong, Le Colonial, Asia de Cuba, etc.) but I always eat before I go so I can just pretend while there.
As for the date, he's long out of my life and I'm happily settled with a lovely man (who is neutral on cilantro).
I am well-known among both professional colleagues and personal friends for my cilantro aversion--and have come to the conclusion that so-called "fusion" cuisine is simply shorthand for "cilantro in EVERYTHING."