this shit is like burt reynolds’ playgirl pose.
April 12, 2009 2:03 PM   Subscribe

IF YOU DON'T LOVE CILANTRO WITH ALL YOUR HEART I WILL FIGHT YOU. Finally, the internet is in balance.
posted by youarenothere (143 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
"and tits"?
posted by gman at 2:09 PM on April 12, 2009


I totally have your back, dude.
posted by orme at 2:10 PM on April 12, 2009


Count me in with the pro-cilantro side of the Herbs Rumble. I'll be the one in the T shirt with the pack of Marlboros rolled up in the sleeve, wielding a bicycle chain.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:11 PM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dirty.
posted by longsleeves at 2:18 PM on April 12, 2009


El perro, el perro, es mi corazón.
El gato, el gato, el gato no es bueno.
Si el antro es cantante, si el antro es muy famoso, si el antro es el hombre con el queso del diablo.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:19 PM on April 12, 2009


This is so awesome I can hardly contain myself. Thank you Internets.

I just recently discovered how much I love cilantro as well. In fact, it's been in every meal I've had the past few days. Delicious.
posted by friendlyjuan at 2:21 PM on April 12, 2009


a quality lunch is a 12-pack of fresh corn tortillas in one hand an a fresh bunch of cilantro in the other. Take large bites of either at random.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:23 PM on April 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


EAT BÁHN MÌ TODAY OR YOUR LIFE IS FORFEIT

Done.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:24 PM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jesus, I thought *I* was the only one with this level of . . . uh . . . obsession? Passion? Yeah, passion. I loves me some cilantro. Here's a taste treat. Substitute cilantro for parsley in chimichurri (some recipes call for a little cilantro to accompany the parsley but I say get rid of that fake parsley shit whenever possible).
posted by John of Michigan at 2:25 PM on April 12, 2009


gman: ""and tits"?"

I can confirm that.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:26 PM on April 12, 2009


"I’d hit it. No, WAIT. More than that. I’d fucking Eiffel Tower this hot bitch with the help of that banana. Me on one end, banana on the other, just pounding away so RAWW."

You know........ I like cilantro. And I don't understand people who claim to hate it. But this guy clearly has cilantro *issues*.

Rule #62 - Love your food. But don't fuck your food.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:28 PM on April 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Parsley is awful, boring and wimpy, and Cilantro would totally fight it and win.

Also, Safari hates the I hate Cilantro site (may contain malware.) Cilantro wins the internet, too.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:28 PM on April 12, 2009


My wife, upon reading this over my shoulder: "We can take 'em, the cilantro-loving bastards."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:29 PM on April 12, 2009 [19 favorites]


I learned a new word today.
posted by device55 at 2:31 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


"We can take 'em, the cilantro-loving bastards."
posted by Mr. Bad Example


epony... you know the drill.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:32 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your favorite herb sucks.
posted by grouse at 2:32 PM on April 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also? Cilantro tastes like pure leafy-green soapy hate.

You know who else ate cilantro?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:33 PM on April 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Che Guevara?
posted by Balisong at 2:34 PM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Cilantro...
Cilantro...
Cilantro, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
Cilantro, FUCK YEAH!
posted by HopperFan at 2:38 PM on April 12, 2009


I think I might be the only person in the world who is indifferent to cilantro. Everyone else I know seems to either passionately love it or hate it, and I can't even tell if it's in my food or not. I think there might be something wrong with my tongue.

Or possibly my brain.
posted by Caduceus at 2:39 PM on April 12, 2009


"and tits"?

I assumed it was a George Carlin reference. Though I've no idea why it might be there.
posted by Grangousier at 2:41 PM on April 12, 2009


[ejaculating]
posted by furtive at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is a stylish herb. Worth remembering that it's called coriander outside the Americas. Ask for cilantro in most of Europe or Asia and no-one will know what you're talking about.
posted by rhymer at 2:53 PM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't it be cheaper to just eat a bar of Ivory soap?
posted by dilettante at 2:53 PM on April 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


Finally, the internet is in balance.

Thank you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:54 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're not alone. I mean, hey it's great in lots of foods, but it's not the über-herb (like basil)

Remember in science class when the teacher passed around little squares of paper and told everyone to put one on his or her tongue? Some people tasted nothing (or paper) and some kids made a horrible yuck face*? Because some people have a genetic trait for tasting a certain chemical as very very bitter.

Cilantro, for some people tastes strongly of soap. They don't taste the lemony bright flavor, they taste soap (which is definitely an acquired taste)

Cilantro lovers, do not hate these poor souls. They have a genetic disorder. It's not their fault.

*obligatory reference to that one kid who swapped the test paper for a hit of acid goes here: "it tastes like the moon..."
posted by device55 at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also known as Chinese parsely in some quarters.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2009


Over the years, since all my favorite food (Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican) uses cilantro, I have been gradually training my brain's taste center to like it. A little bit goes a long way, though. The problem is that in excess, the taste remains for hours.

By the way, do you cilantro lovers embrace durian, as well?
posted by kozad at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2009


"and tits"?"
misleading, I saw ass.
(what guy didn't click on that link first thing? well, I mean besides me...)
posted by dawson at 2:57 PM on April 12, 2009


Parsley.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 2:58 PM on April 12, 2009


The whole "hate cilantro" thing is genetic. People who hate cilantro are genetically inferior, and deserve our pity, not our scorn.
posted by Floydd at 2:58 PM on April 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


Wouldn't it be cheaper to just eat a bar of Ivory soap?

Despite my cilantrophilia, I am tolerant of others' points of view, especially in light of the fact that some people, through genetic mutation, taste it differently: To wit:

The favorite theory at the moment is that the aversion is genetic, in particular the result of the inability to taste the chemical phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), which has a bitter flavor. Not being able to taste PTC was used to determine genetic paternity before we had any other method of genetic testing. A recent study showed that PTC may not be to blame. People who hate coriander generally are unable to actually taste the herb and often complain about an overwhelming “rotting-flesh” type odor that turns the stomach. There are also complaints that coriander tastes like soap. There are theories that the distaste has to do with enzymes. Coriander is a well-known companion herb, the aroma from the flowers and fruits attract predatory wasps and other pollinators that prey on unwanted aphids and mites. Perhaps coriander’s pheromone linalool, which attracts a certain type of male bee and is used in perfumes and food flavoring, is what causes certain individuals to react with such primordial dislike. The senses of smell and taste are intimately linked so there may still be a connection to PTC, but it is clear we need a lot more information to properly understand this complex herb.

So, instead of hating those who dislike cilantro, I merely pity them.
posted by John of Michigan at 2:58 PM on April 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


Floydd is right.
posted by John of Michigan at 2:59 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


By the way, do you cilantro lovers embrace durian, as well?

In the same way I embrace the smell of my feet after a 10k run.
posted by gman at 3:00 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


By the way, do you cilantro lovers embrace durian, as well?
naw, just eat it, it's not like i'm maniacal.

posted by dawson at 3:01 PM on April 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


fuc live preview, man.
posted by dawson at 3:02 PM on April 12, 2009


So there's that post at the bottom of the page featuring a photo of a phallus-shaped cilantro sandwich and a banana, followed by:

I’d hit it. No, WAIT. More than that. I’d fucking Eiffel Tower this hot bitch with the help of that banana. Me on one end, banana on the other, just pounding away so RAWW.

Consulting his Urban Dictionary link there, is it me or does he have something backwards? I'm just sayin'.
posted by XMLicious at 3:07 PM on April 12, 2009


How come no one is ever indifferent about cilantro.
posted by BrnP84 at 3:09 PM on April 12, 2009


Coriander is a well-known companion herb, the aroma from the flowers and fruits attract predatory wasps and other pollinators that prey on unwanted aphids and mites.

I am a predatory pollinator, so this makes sense to me.
posted by orme at 3:20 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


BrnP84, meet Cadeuceus.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:20 PM on April 12, 2009


Perhaps coriander’s pheromone linalool, which attracts a certain type of male bee and is used in perfumes and food flavoring, is what causes certain individuals to react with such primordial dislike. The senses of smell and taste are intimately linked so there may still be a connection to PTC, but it is clear we need a lot more information to properly understand this complex herb.

I'm neutral on the coriander issue but there has been many a perfume where I have wondered "Why the hell would you want to smell like that?" and assumed it must be to cover some truly hideous body odour. Which I imagine is not the intended effect or affect .
posted by srboisvert at 3:21 PM on April 12, 2009


Because the cilantrophobia is a genetic deformity, I'm pretty sure we can just start rounding the mutants up and transferring them to special non-cilantro work camps. For their own safety of course. They can grow parsley there.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:26 PM on April 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


BrnP84 - cuz cilantro is important
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:26 PM on April 12, 2009


To me, cilantro is a noxious, foul tasting weed and a culinary pestilence. If you want to eat it, fine, just don't put it in the food until the rest of us have gotten our servings.

I used to work with a Mexican guy who also hated it. He lived with his grandmother who grew it and was always cooking with it. He would "accidently" run over it with the lawn mower whenever he cut the grass.
posted by Daddy-O at 3:30 PM on April 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


I am a no-on-cilantro person. The first time I had it I told everyone I was with not to eat the dish, because it had gone bad. It's hard, because I love Thai and Mexican food (pro-tip: replace cilantro with mint in most Thai recipes and you'll be fine).
posted by Bookhouse at 3:34 PM on April 12, 2009


Daddy-O, I'm in complete agreement with you, I thought I was the only one.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:34 PM on April 12, 2009


Cilantro has a delicious and truly unique flavor. I feel bad for the people who can't stand it. :(
posted by sonic meat machine at 3:42 PM on April 12, 2009


Cilantro is wonderful and essential to the most delcious food. I once dated someone, very briefly, who had the cilantro=soap genetic deformity. Thing is, to me, their skin tasted very bitter and noxious. It took one make-out session and I was sufficiently repulsed to decline any further physical interaction. This is how the speciation begins, I believe, by not allowing interbreeding between the genetically fit and the defectives... err subspecies.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 3:50 PM on April 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


I had a weird cilantro experience. I got a job at a Mexican restaurant called Xalapeño Charlie's here in Austin back in the 80's, and all of his food had jalapeños and cilantro in it. I had one meal, and first thought "Ugh. This stuff tastes really weird. I don't like it, Sam I am." About three weeks later, I suddenly was overcome with an overwhelming urge to eat cilantro NOW. I've been an adherent ever since. Happiness is burying my nose in a fresh bundle. It's funny how at first I hated it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:54 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


YO! I HEARD YOU LIKE CILANTRO SO I
posted by Big_B at 3:56 PM on April 12, 2009


Funny, I just mentioned that "I hate cilantro" website to my mother last night. While I was cooking with it and filling up the house with that lovely smell.

We love cilantro. This new link will come in handy.
posted by cmgonzalez at 3:56 PM on April 12, 2009


Cilantro SUCKS.
It tastes like soap and grass and ruins meals.
[back to the opposition]
posted by hooptycritter at 3:56 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cilantro Ice cream...with deep fried beer battered cliantro crispies. I like it on my bacon too.
posted by gigbutt at 3:56 PM on April 12, 2009


Having voiced my favor of cilantro, I am getting little bit weary of the "exasperated swearer" tone of webposts. You can only take so many "HOLY SHITBALLS ARE THOES BANANAS?" image macros, Cracked lists and blogs about hating cute animals before the comedic effect of swearing, a lot, and appearing to be in a constant state of surprise wears thin.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:00 PM on April 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


No need to fight, I love cilantro too. Except that one time an ex cooked it into a stir-fry until it was hot, stringy, and gross.
posted by thylacine at 4:01 PM on April 12, 2009


Okay, at Yale, at the hospital, there are at least fifteen different restaurants represented by food carts outside. More in the summer, less in the winter. Now, there is one cart - one of the Chinese ones, run by a grandmothery type woman - where the woman is obviously on the side of FUCK YEAH CILANTRO. She wants to share her love of cilantro with the world. Order anything and you will be asked if you want some. The answer is yes. You will get a heaping, heaping handful of cilantro on top. It is ridiculous. We're talking probably 1/2-3/4 of a cup.

But man, that soup is tasty.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:06 PM on April 12, 2009


Relax people.
posted by chillmost at 4:08 PM on April 12, 2009


It's not a deformity, you leaf-huffing coriander-scarfers. We're just able to taste something you all can't, which is a compound that's obviously devised to broadcast the message "YO DAWG, I AM PROBABLY NOT A FOOD*". Enjoy your recessive genes, you gene...receders....that's right, I went there.


*I imagine cilantro talking like Randy Jackson. I have no idea why.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:13 PM on April 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


Fuck yeah.

Coriander.
posted by flippant at 4:15 PM on April 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Relax people.
posted by chillmost


Who the fuck are you to tell us that?
posted by gman at 4:27 PM on April 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey Mr. Bad Example, you've got to divide the opposition, man. Figure out, for example, who says "sil-on-trow" and who says "sil-an-trow," and drive a wedge between them.

Or whatever, I mean, I love the stuff.
posted by sleevener at 4:30 PM on April 12, 2009


This just came up the other night when we were waiting in line for Kogi. I was first introduced to cilantro thanks to Roberto's Carne Asada burritos -- which is my hometown comfort food of choice.

Other mefites were saying that it just tastes "wrong" to them. While I totally respect that, I just can't imagine it as I live in a world where cilantro is awesome. Especially in salads with peanut dressing from Trader Joe's. YUM.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:32 PM on April 12, 2009


Yes! Cilantro should not be robbed of its rightful place among the spices by the spice-ists.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 4:38 PM on April 12, 2009


If plants could take really nasty, stanky dumps that output would be cilantro. ;)
posted by hooptycritter at 4:52 PM on April 12, 2009


Middle America tries so hard. Last year it was something called "chipotle". Next year it will be polenta.
posted by Zambrano at 4:55 PM on April 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


The idea that phenylthiocarbamide has to do with cilantro aversion seems to be fairly well discredited, especially since the love/hate perception lies in odor sensation, not taste.

Excellent NPR piece on cilantro aroma perception

It looks like people who dislike cilantro are able to sense all of the unpleasant aromas in it, but cannot smell the actual "cilantro" flavor that makes it much beloved by those who can perceive it.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:55 PM on April 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Zambrano: I think chipotle is here to stay. It is roughly equivalent to 1 part liquid smoke and 1 part spicy.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:56 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The whole "hate cilantro" thing is genetic. People who hate cilantro are genetically inferior, and deserve our pity, not our scorn.
posted by Floydd at 2:58 PM on April 12 [1 favorite +] [!]


Both my parents hate cilantro. I love the stuff.


Maybe I was adopted...
posted by Foosnark at 5:09 PM on April 12, 2009


I thought I'd note that the 'tits' link links to a site where the second page has a picture of a cat wearing its owner's penis and scrotum as a hat.
posted by kldickson at 5:14 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cilantro is the devil.

Horrible, horrible, nasty herb, it is.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:20 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


my son's wife HATES this stuff.... I started to send this site to her, but saw the "and tits" and decided I was looking like a dirty old man...

I sent the site to my kid, told him it was up to him to let her know about it....
posted by HuronBob at 5:23 PM on April 12, 2009


OK, I admit, I seriously hate the taste of cilantro and ask for food without it (I know, smack me), but...in no way, shape or form does it taste to me like soap.

Just sayin', if someone wants to kick my ass about it, jut know where I'm comin' from, yeah?
posted by tristeza at 5:27 PM on April 12, 2009


Fight away, I'm still not eating that shit.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:30 PM on April 12, 2009


Middle America tries so hard. Last year it was something called "chipotle". Next year it will be polenta.

I for one welcome our delicious cuisine overlords.
posted by FritoKAL at 5:52 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like that dude's cilantro site better if there weren't any words on it.
posted by box at 5:52 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's my understanding that most, if not all, really good salsa has cilantro in it. Luckily, I can't detect it when I eat salsa, because I am one of the defective ones who can't eat it. When I bite into a cilantro leaf on its own, all I can taste is soap. :(
posted by Mikey-San at 5:58 PM on April 12, 2009


Mmm homemade salsa with fresh cilantro, tomatoes from the garden, and lime juice...it is beautiful. That chipotle stuff, on the other hand, is overrated.
posted by little e at 6:02 PM on April 12, 2009


I like coriander seeds (which taste totally different), but I acquired the ability to tolerate cilantro leaves because I love Mexican, Chinese, Indian & Thai food which uses it.
posted by mike3k at 6:04 PM on April 12, 2009


Middle America tries so hard. Last year it was something called "chipotle". Next year it will be polenta.

I think it'll be mixed grill.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:19 PM on April 12, 2009


Yeah, I don't like cilantro very much, but I wouldn't say it tastes like soap. It has several odors to it, none of them particularly pleasant, but soap? Not really.

I've learned to tolerate it okay, and I'll eat foods with it included, but would never go out of my way to get it. I always wondered why people put it in Laotian and Thai food so much -- didn't realize that they're mutants and actually experience it differently than I do.

From the odors I do detect in the stuff, I'm not positive it's all that healthy a food.
posted by Malor at 6:19 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I haven't been able to confirm my theory, but I suspect that people who like cilantro cursed a lot as children, and spend a lot of time with bars of soap in their mouths, so got to like the flavor.

I mean, I cursed as a child, but my parents didn't fucking give a fuck, so I never grew to love the flavor of Ivory.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:20 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess I don't have the cilantro aversion, because I don't mind the stuff, but I also don't see why people like to pile huge amounts of it on things. It just drowns out the actual flavor of the food. Or do you cilantro-lovers get a subtle flavor from it instead of the pungent one I taste?
posted by obvious at 6:20 PM on April 12, 2009


I was once in a "Mexican" restaurant, which I suspect was actually Greek, and I asked for cilantro to go on something.You know, like a couple of tablespoons for flavor. First they had no clue what it was, and then went to the back for the manager. A lively convo ensued, involving descriptions, bad drawings, micro expressions, and hand gestures. Eventually, the manager himself came out of the back room with an entire salad bowl of the stuff, apparently unclear on the appropriate size portion.

Speaking of related smells and tastes and perfume (Warning: I am about to offend 50% of the population), there is an ingredient in one expensive perfume that makes half of us want to gag, and I suspect the other half just can't smell it. I believe it's some sort of musk related compond, probably designed to make the smell hang on longer. It's also included in many generic equivalents of this scent. I tend to refer to them as "Toxic Waste", in homage to the expensive one. I can only assume it's so popular because many people can't smell the offensive component. I tell the young ladies at the office, I'll be glad to answer your question, but could you ask it from over there; I'm allergic to you. Nobody ever seems to take it badly. Only one in 3 can smell cyanide, perhaps this is a similar situation? It also comes in some room fresheners.

I think I read someplace there are 30,000 genes for smell (and taste is a lot smell) and if you don't have the gene, it's just not there from your vantage point. If my science is wonky, please correct me.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:20 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


People who hate cilantro are genetically inferior, and deserve our pity, not our scorn.

You mean genetically superior: we refuse to eat things that taste horrible, thereby not ingesting things that might kill us and remove us from the gene pool.

Take that, ya weed-loving hippies.
posted by bwg at 6:25 PM on April 12, 2009


Coarsely chop eight tomatoes, two chiles, half a sweet onion, add just a bit too much salt, fresh ground pepper, a dash of lemon juice and a wad of rolled up and finely chopped FUCK YEAH BABY.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:26 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


There once was an herb called cilantro,
to which some said yes but some said no
"It's just not our thing!"
"Tastes like Irish Spring!"
And they weren't afraid to just say so
posted by bwg at 6:30 PM on April 12, 2009


Portmanteau.
posted by box at 6:35 PM on April 12, 2009


Cilantro taste like soap.
posted by scottMontgomery at 6:42 PM on April 12, 2009


Fuck yes. Cilantro is the new bacon.

Bacon is finally dead. Long live bacon.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:57 PM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Zambrano: "Middle America tries so hard. Last year it was something called "chipotle". Next year it will be polenta."

We already have grits.
posted by Science! at 7:09 PM on April 12, 2009


This is why I like living in a city with lots of Asians. You can get a terrific cilantro-smothered teriaki chicken sandwich at a Vietnamese cafe, and then later at the Chinese supermarket, you may pick up some durian candy.
posted by telstar at 7:16 PM on April 12, 2009


Needs a corriander tag.
posted by onya at 7:20 PM on April 12, 2009


You want to see a good fight? Substitute cilantro for parsley as the karpas (salt-water-dipping vegetable) at your next Passover seder. I guarantee you that your night will definitely be different from all other nights.

(True story! One of my family members actually did this--accidentally--this year.)
posted by goingonit at 7:25 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Middle America tries so hard. Last year it was something called "chipotle". Next year it will be polenta.

My lawn is made of cilantro. Gotta say it was with dismay that I endured the whelming of the landscape with Chipotle's chain stores. I remember when we had to drive to Mexico for the damn things. Can I have no special food??

Polenta sucks, preemptively.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:34 PM on April 12, 2009


I personally don't like cilantro, but so many foods I LOVE will not taste right with out it as an ingredient.

I think the trend of food shows to pile cilantro on leads to a misunderstanding of a powerful spice, essential to many foods but in excess becomes overbearing.

Would you pile on the tarragon when a recipe or method calls for restraint? Why would cilantro be different?

Caveat, I'm mexican and grown up with the stuff, for 40 years, it's only in the last 15 or so that I have seen the "pile it on" trend.

I think in asian foods it's use should be even more subtle ( I also think thai basil is over used.)
posted by Max Power at 7:35 PM on April 12, 2009


So this is pretty much the Thrills Gum of the herb world, eh?
posted by autodidact at 7:37 PM on April 12, 2009


Look, I'll say one last thing, and then I'll step aside.

If Tacos al Pastor on corn tortillas, slathered in lime juice and smothered in cilantro is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:50 PM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Between me and cilantro, it was love at first sight. My friend's mom made this delicious Vietnamese soup. I had never tasted cilantro before, and it was instantly my favorite soup ever.

Cilantro has such a delicious, distinctive taste. Whenever I bite into something and it turns out that it has cilantro, it's always a pleasant surprise - kinda like finding a $20 on the sidewalk.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:51 PM on April 12, 2009


It's coriander seeds all grown up. I have a packet waiting patiently in my kitchen to be planted in my backyard now.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 PM on April 12, 2009


Fuck yes. Cilantro is the new bacon.

Bacon is finally dead. Long live bacon.


I want a Tardis then, so I can fast forward to the year where bacon is the new bacon again.

Count me with the cilantro haters. I'm sure it'd be tasty if it didn't smell like someone washing a corpse with dishwashing liquid, then forgetting to rinse it off before sprinkling flakes of it in my pho. To me, it's an overpowering smell and taste, it obliterates everything else in the meal, and it lingers afterwards. Horrid.

I honestly think it's a genetic thing. I've talked to some who eat it, but they somehow like the strong taste. I've also talked to others who say that cilantro has a really subtle, light flavor, and they can't get enough of it because of how mild it is. Bizarre.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:57 PM on April 12, 2009


Some people like the taste of cilantro. Other people hate it. There is actually a genetic polymorphism for a receptor that influences the way a person senses the taste of cilantro. Nobody knows for sure, but it is probably a codominant trait. Individuals with one or more copies of one variant tend to taste it as "soapy" or unpleasant. via.

And here's a whole article about the war.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:06 PM on April 12, 2009


I like cilantro. I really, really dislike dill. I'm not crazy about parsley, either. Or rosemary. Yup.
posted by munyeca at 8:31 PM on April 12, 2009


Nobody knows for sure, but it is probably a codominant trait.

More like CONDIMENT trait, amirite?

Please don't hit me.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:01 PM on April 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Here in Japan, it goes by the name パくち (pa-ku-chi) and a fair number of Japanese absolutely detest the stuff. At least the cilantro used in Thai food (or is that coriander??)
posted by zardoz at 9:07 PM on April 12, 2009


CORIANDER SEEDS ARE CILANTRO
posted by Burhanistan at 9:10 PM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you like the taste, you can throw a handful of coriander seeds in the pickle jar. I used to can mine that way, but if they didn't, it'll work its way into the pickles in a few days.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 9:28 PM on April 12, 2009


I'M TOTALLY GIVING YOUR MOM AND YOUR DAD THE CILANTRO ON EASTER SUNDAY
posted by loquacious at 10:02 PM on April 12, 2009


Oh, I have the day off tomorrow and this post totally makes me want to spend it making carnitas and pico de gallo and anything else I can load that shit into...
posted by mdaugherty82 at 10:45 PM on April 12, 2009


Cilantro as a child in lots of food. It grew wild outside our humble home. Now, older, my tongue has betrayed me. Delicious has become soapy to me. Why, Universe, why this perversity? What have I done? What would my abuela think of me?

Horrors: parsley is now becoming pleasant to my senses.

Conclusion: the world has gone mad.
posted by Mister Cheese at 11:48 PM on April 12, 2009


Now, cilantrophiles loved phenylthiocarbamide
While cilantrophobes lacked the right genes inside
The genes weren't so big, they were really quite small
You would think such a thing wouldn't matter at all
But since they had the genes, all the cilantro lovers
Would brag, "We're the best foodies! We did your mothers!"

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort
"We'll have nothing to do with the cripple-tongued sort!"
And whenever they met some when they were out walking
they'd hike right on past them without even talking

When cilantrophile children went out to play ball
Could cilantrophobes join in their game? Not at all!
You could only play ball if your palette was right
And cilantrophobe kids paled at that herb's mere sight

When the cilantro lovers had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts
They never invited the PTC-lacking
Left them out cold, sent them right away packing
Kept them away, never let them come near
And that's how they treated them year after year

(with apologies to Mr. Geisel)
posted by Rhaomi at 11:53 PM on April 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Stephen Fry thinks it tastes like soap. STEPHEN AWESOME FUCKIN' CILANTRO-HATIN' PONIES FRY. You're going to tell me that God among men is in any way deficient or lacking? BullSHIT.

Stephen Fry is on my side, and that's good enough for me.

(Everyone who loves cilantro can have all of the cilantro in the world that would otherwise have been allotted to me. Bleh.)
posted by tzikeh at 2:04 AM on April 13, 2009


cilantro tastes like soap - i love cilantro.
posted by FidelDonson at 2:32 AM on April 13, 2009


I don't understand this notion of "cilantro-haters have a defective gene." There's a soapy taste to cilantro that some people are not able to detect. That seems like a defect to me. Sure, it's a happy accident, but how do the ones with the more sensitive taste buds get labeled as "defective"?
posted by explosion at 3:46 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't understand this notion of "cilantro-haters have a defective gene." There's a soapy taste to cilantro that some people are not able to detect. That seems like a defect to me. Sure, it's a happy accident, but how do the ones with the more sensitive taste buds get labeled as "defective"?

It's not that simple. Read the NPR piece: there are two different compounds to detect in the smell test. Cilantro-lovers detect the smell they like, and not the soap smell. Cilantro-haters detect the soap smell, but not the smell that cilantro-lovers identify as the smell they like.

It's not a case of, "There's only one compound to smell, and people who dislike cilantro can smell it." It's a case of, "There's two compounds to smell, and which one you're capable of smelling determines whether you like cilantro."

I think calling either one defective is weird, but I guess it's tongue-in-cheek. Anyway, I personally love cilantro.
posted by Nattie at 5:25 AM on April 13, 2009


Coriander tastes like soap to me. It's fine when cooked into a meal and ground coriander/coriander seeds are fine. The problem is when someone tries to hide your food with some kind of camouflage layer of chopped coriander leaves, then it's just soap and the perpetrator should be dealt with severely.
posted by knapah at 5:38 AM on April 13, 2009


Comrades, can we not engineer the defective hating-cilantro gene out of our proud nation's great society somehow? We could start by spaying and neutering the, say, impure individuals and grant them a generous space of their own in our nation's cities' spacious relocation areas.

After that, maybe camps.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:42 AM on April 13, 2009


dammit, ebk, big thread
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:50 AM on April 13, 2009


Pico de gallo is heaven, and cilantro is why. But I've not experienced this over-use of which many of you speak. To me, the best word I have to describe my perception is 'earthy'.

Derail: speaking of herbs, I've wondered whether America has discovered this herb the Brits call 'rocket', and the Swiss call 'riccola' (like the cough drops)? Here in Switzerland, they even put it on pizza, which surprised me how good it is. I found it was lovely stuffed in a bean burrito, served together with pico de gallo.
posted by Goofyy at 7:00 AM on April 13, 2009


I thought that rocket and arugula are the same thing?
posted by harriet vane at 7:05 AM on April 13, 2009


Goofyy, we call it Arugula, and according to some it's peppery bitter taste is the height of aristocracy and all that is wrong with America's liberals, despite it's origins as a humble weed salad green.
posted by fontophilic at 7:10 AM on April 13, 2009


Also cilantro is awesome. I love that in Texas you can get 3 bunches for a buck. And I do. Just about every time I'm at the store. I pity the poor souls that have filled their hearts with hate to the most delicious of herbs.
posted by fontophilic at 7:13 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cilantro is the devil.

Horrible, horrible, nasty herb, it is.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:20 PM


You are admirable in the consistency of your mistakeness.
posted by Reverend John at 7:28 AM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jesus loves all herbs.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:43 AM on April 13, 2009


Tastes like soap for me. But bring it on. My enzymes will crush your hurricane kick.
posted by asfuller at 9:09 AM on April 13, 2009


Cilantro kills food poisoning. Booyah. +1 to cilantro lovers
posted by namewithhe1d at 10:50 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey.

The 'in balance' link in the OP gets flagged as 'an attack site'
posted by jfrancis at 11:36 AM on April 13, 2009


After having had many many food battles where, in the end, the only thing you can say is, "I guess some people like it and some people don't", I am very pleased to find that, in this case, the mutated freaks who don't like cilantro are provably and undeniably deficient in their tasting sense.

Glory in your lack of tasting ability if you want, cilantro haters, but meanwhile I'll be over here enjoying the actual flavor of something, instead of bitterly insisting that my lack of taste is somehow superior.
posted by Aquaman at 1:09 PM on April 13, 2009


Well, fuck. First Magic Eye pictures, now this. I'm a monster.
posted by spamguy at 1:25 PM on April 13, 2009


The idea that phenylthiocarbamide has to do with cilantro aversion seems to be fairly well discredited

I'm not sure it was ever really credited in the scientific community. The most I ever heard on that front was "we know that PTC sensitivity is genetic, so there is precedent for people being able to taste something or not based on genetics; perhaps cilantro aversion is also genetically determined." Which gets morphed by popular science reporting and the general blogosphere into "OMG PTC-tasters hate cilantro WTF!"

Read the NPR piece: there are two different compounds to detect in the smell test. Cilantro-lovers detect the smell they like, and not the soap smell. Cilantro-haters detect the soap smell, but not the smell that cilantro-lovers identify as the smell they like.

Read the NPR piece yourself. One cilantro-hater detected the soap smell, but not the good one. Two cilantro-lovers detected the pleasant smell, but not the soap one. That's hardly conclusive that the entire human race smells precisely one of the two compounds. Indeed, it would be odd if there were not people who could smell both compounds, or neither. One might hypothesize that cilantro-neutral Caduceus smells neither, or that cilantro-haters who can acquire a taste for it smell both.

I'm pretty sure we can just start rounding the mutants up and transferring them to special non-cilantro work camps.

You won't have to round me up. As long as the camp has good cilantro-free Mexican, Indian, and Thai food, I'll gladly go on my own.

It seems that one by one many of my favorite cuisines (or at least the American interpretation thereof) have been shut down to me by the addition of cilantro. Fortunately, my beloved cajun and creole foods remain generally free of the noxious leaves, but I'm already trying to mentally prepare myself for the day I'll have to give those up too.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:38 PM on April 13, 2009



Read the NPR piece: there are two different compounds to detect in the smell test. Cilantro-lovers detect the smell they like, and not the soap smell. Cilantro-haters detect the soap smell, but not the smell that cilantro-lovers identify as the smell they like.


This is bollocks: I love cilantro. But I can smell the soapiness and I can taste it too. Cilantro does taste like soap. But, like, really yummy soap.
posted by rhymer at 1:52 PM on April 13, 2009


I'm gonna be honest, I really don't care about cilantro one way or another.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 2:11 PM on April 13, 2009


Just dropping here to remind everyone that taste is not a quality of the food, it is a quality of the brain.

As Dennet clearly explains in the 'Cute, sexy, sweet and funny: An evolutionary riddle***' video: Honey is sweet because we like it, not we like it because it is sweet.

Sugar is good for us, so we evolve a sugar detector and a sugar preferrer and we call it sweetnes.

So:

A) Cilantro is delicious because it is good for me.
B) Cilantro is horrible because it is bad for me.

Who, A or B, lives in a richer world?

*** You can skip the Intelligent Design bashing first 2 minutes, skip to 2:00, it gets very interesting, worth watching in the context of this discussion.
posted by dirty lies at 3:04 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sugar is good for us, so we evolve a sugar detector and a sugar preferrer and we call it sweetnes.

It could just be that we like sugar because of the instant metabolic value and resultant energy spike since we've evolved to seek out high energy foods.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:06 PM on April 13, 2009


Sugar is good for us, so we evolve a sugar detector and a sugar preferrer and we call it sweetnes.

Evolution is all about "good enough," not "perfect." So sugar tastes sweet, and compounds which are chemically similar to sugar also taste sweet, even if they have no nutritional value at all, or even worse, downright poisonous. Ethylene glycol was virtually nonexistent in the caveman world, so there's been no selective pressure to differentiate between sugar and ethylene glycol. But (hopefully) you would not conclude that ethylene glycol is good for you just because it is sweet.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:26 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Soapy? Lemony?? Delicate??? WTF. You all must be defective. Cilantro very definitely tastes of metal. Weathered, peed-on, unmistakeable metal. With an aftertaste that just won't quit.

Guh.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 3:35 PM on April 13, 2009


Just SMELLING it is unbearably sickening to me. It is a horrible horrible nauseating smell that pierces my nose and makes me wanna hurl. Horrible horrible soapy grody gross yukky barfola puke herb.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:45 PM on April 13, 2009


Oh, stuff it. You probably didn't think it tasted soapy until you read that on the internet.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:57 PM on April 13, 2009


My first intro to it is when I bought a couple of cilantro plants along with a bunch of other herbs to set out in my front yard/in pots. Loving the smells of most other herbs, I went over to where I had set the cilantro and took in a deep breath-and then literally started to gag.

No need to insult me about it. I love food, I will try just about anything, but I really really cannot abide the stuff. If it is mixed with other things in Thai or Mexican cooking I can tolerate it but, for example, if it is in a fresh spring roll I have to unroll the thing and take the cilantro out.

All kidding aside-it is horrible. Horrible.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:45 PM on April 13, 2009


Cilantro chutney! And I was just thinking obsessing about it this week, too.
posted by Xere at 10:44 PM on April 13, 2009


I thought that rocket and arugula are the same thing?

So all that Obama is an elitist stuff was because he liked rocket? WTF Right Wing Noise Machine?
posted by minifigs at 6:09 AM on April 14, 2009


God dammit, foodies, get off my lawn. Food->mouth->survive->get on with life.
posted by saysthis at 7:57 PM on April 14, 2009


I'll be having fresh cilantro carrot soup this week. It's great hot or cold. You can leave the cream out.

Oh and please do comparison-sniff your grocer's Organic vs. other cilantro. I was shocked at what I'd been missing.

Also noteworthy for cilantrophiles: Those wonky Green Bags they advertise on tv seem to work best on leafy greens like Cilantro, but they don't preserve all the flavor forever. They are a little help.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:26 AM on April 20, 2009


Those wonky Green Bags they advertise on tv…

WITCHCRAFT!
posted by XMLicious at 12:45 PM on April 20, 2009


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