Cilantro

From I Hate Cilantro:

“about one year ago i decided to go on a grand adventure… i decided to become an exchange studnet. i choose the country of Costa Rica beacuse i speak spanish and suppossidly the food is delicious. boy was i wrong…

i moved here about one month ago with my host family. i was very excited to try all the new foods.. and on my first day i was served up a heaping plate of declious looking rice and beans. i took one bite and resisted the urge to spit it all out. my food tasted like dish soap!! SOAP. there was soap in my food. i looked at my new family memebers to see if they had dected the soapy food disaster.. but no. they exclaimed how delicious the meal was. by means of magic i managed to choke down the rest of my meal convincing myself that the next would be better.

and once again… i was wrong. the evil green soap plant lurks in all my food here. it is the herb of the country. its in my eggs my beans my rice my soup. i cant seem to escape the horrid flavor. its been two months and there is no end in sight. my host family adores the rancid taste of cilantro. i guess i am stuck choking it down for another eight months… if i make it that long..

Heh. I was glad to read that post. Back in the 80s, I had my first experiences in Latin America. The people were warm, the nightlife was great, and the feeling of being in an exotic locale energized me.

The only problem was the food. Sure, technically the food in Mexico and Colombia was great. My host families worked hard to prepare meals that I would like, and overall I did.

But I thought much of the food had a soapy flavor. I began to think that people in Latin America didn’t rinse their dishes after washing them.  In my mind, not rinsing dishes must have been one of those incomprehensible cultural issues; I’d just have to get used to it.

Well, the soapy flavor of the allegedly unrinsed dishes turned out to be cilantro.

I was horrified to learn that people put that stuff in their food on purpose.  Why, oh why would anyone do that?

As time went on, I got used to cilantro in the US, as it became our country’s New Trendy Herb. I gagged and choked it down to be polite.

Now, I can take cilantro, but ugh.

More from I Hate Cilantro:

“I recentley lived in Chile for two years. The first month I was there I was presented, at a house of a native Chilean, with a very aptizing looking dish of salmon, avocado and green leafy plant that I thought to be a parsey garnish. I took a bite and nearly threw up. I quickly learned that this horrible bane was cilantro and that it was the most popular herb and flavoring ingrediant in Chile. As I often ate at peoples houses I was forced to gag my way threw many a meal not wanted to be rude. I had never heard of cilantro before in my life and didn’t know anything about it. Everyone else around me loved the stuff and I was so confused about how anyone could enjoy this rancid noxious weed.
I am so glad to back in the U.S. where I am not forced to eat this devil herb. However I have learned that I cannot eat at Indian restaurants as they cover everything they make with cilantro as well.
I was so happy to learn that there are fellow cilantro hater out there and that there isnt something terribley wrong with me. I think that there must be some chemical in the plant that only some people are able to taste and most people are simply unaware about how bad it can taste to us.

I’ve learned to be OK w/cilantro, but sometimes the soapy taste of a dish with way too much cilantro makes me want to vomit.

But I’m over it.

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2 responses to “Cilantro

  1. Eeek! I hope I never fed you cilantro! I do like it … but I don’t put in everything (e.g., eggs? That’s just so wrong!).

  2. Laura-

    Ha! I don’t think you ever served cilantro to me in your home.

    I’ve learned to love that devil weed, but there are times when an over-bearing cilantro taste makes me want to vomit!

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