Cilantro: Soapy or Scrumptious?

There are the usual debates:  Coke vs Pepsi, Mac vs PC…but one food that seems to cause great division is cilantro.

CilantroI consider myself a fairly adventurous and open-minded omnivore but I stand firmly on the side of the non-cilantro lovers.   If there is one leaf in a vat of salsa, I will taste it.  It’s like having my mouth washed out with a bar of soap (which luckily never actually happened to me as a child…)

This can be a dilemna if you’re someone, like me, who loves Latin American or Asian cuisine.  I have learned to overcome my dislike as I cannot deny myself an amazing pad thai or Mexican dish if available, but you will never find a bunch of cilantro in my kitchen.  I’m also rather agnostic when it comes to parsley – both curly and Italian…I will use parsley if absolutely necessary but would rather just leave it out.

I always thought that this violent dislike of cilantro was just me being an unusually picky eater, until a friend shared an article in the New York Times a few years ago, “Cilantro Haters: It’s Not Your Fault”, and I found out that there is a chemical in cilantro that is also found in soaps and lotions.  Who knew???  I also found out from the article that I am in good company – Julia Child also didn’t like cilantro…

So which side of the fence do you land on?  Soapy or scrumptious?


About kate magee

I am a lifelong foodie who lives in Toronto and spends much too much of my time thinking, preparing, eating and writing about food...
This entry was posted in Random musings, Vegetables / Herbs / Salads and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cilantro: Soapy or Scrumptious?

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    I like cilantro. No, my mouth was never washed out with soap either. As for parsley I like flat. I do NOT like curly. I do leave it out.

  2. bookpeeps says:

    I’m on the scrumptious side of the fence but have heard others complain of the same “soapy” taste. Congrats on your new blog! Look forward to more.

  3. Barb says:

    I’m on the scrumptious side – there’s usually a bunch of it in my crisper. And I’d also heard that it tastes like soap to people who hate it. I think of parsley more as decoration than food.

  4. I came across that same article a few months ago – I am definitely on the scrumptious side, I love the stuff. I actually never knew what cilantro was until I looked it up (and found that article), and discovered it is what I know as coriander leaves. But I never knew until then why so many people can’t stand it 😀

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