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Apr 14, 2010 03:44 AM

Great Cilantro Aversion Article Detailed in Today's NYT Article

I am one who has an aversion to cilantro. Gradually, I began to tolerate it. I never realized why this could be until the writer in this article wrote about a neuroscientist's own aversion. Overtime one puts up with the taste of the cilantro because it reminds them of good times eating with friends and family. A-ha! This explanation works for me. I thought back, and my 1st few encounters with the herb were over meals I had in college with good friends. When I 1st encountered cilantro I would always pick out the "soapy" tasting leaves, as time went by (it's taken over 20 years!) but today I don't do that anymore and each time I eat it I am taken back to those early meals. Thank you Harold McGee for bringing this to my attention!

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  1. Great article! I've always hated cilantro, even a small amount of a fine chop in a burrito renders it inedible for me.

    1. It makes sense, but there are many of those of us for whom cilantro had us at the first leaf. I adore it and always have. I'm glad you've been able to overcome your aversion!

      1. You are ready to try Robert Lauriston's cilantro rice! And when fresh corn is available, his same procedure works well with sauteed corn cut from the cob, with a little extra sauteed diced jalapeno.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Veggo

          Thank you for the corn idea! When corn hits the farmers' markets here, I will be doing this.

          Robert Lauriston's cilantro rice:

        2. I loved cilantro immediately from first bite and never understood the passion with which people hate cilantro. I mean, I hate ham but you don't see me going on tirades about it like some cilantro haters I know do. This article definitely gave me some perspective into the cilantro haters' minds. Great read!

          1 Reply
          1. re: mels

            I'm one of those people where it makes everything taste like soap, so it kind of ruins a good meal for me. I wish I liked it! I could stop picking it off my food. It's easier to avoid ham than to avoid cilantro if you're eating out.

          2. Fascinating! I have recently *begun* to get over my cilantro aversion, and you know what did it for me? Indian food. I fell in love with a local Indian resto that puts cilantro (rightly) in or on several of its dishes. Somehow it tastes completely different in Indian food as opposed to Mexican food.

            4 Replies
            1. re: LauraGrace

              I felt the same way with Thai when I was younger. Tom Kha initiated me into something thats a bit of an addiction.

              1. re: LauraGrace

                Is this aversion to cilantro just a US thing? I don't recall meeting any non-US people who feel the same way.

                Laura may have hit on the reason, in other countries we eat as part of Thai or Indian food, not usually Mexican. Maybe it works better with those cuisines and therefore we overcome or neurological phobia at an early age?

                1. re: PhilD

                  My Filipina grandmother hated cilantro. Very close to Thailand and India, still hated it.

                2. re: LauraGrace

                  I've found that it doesn't bother me as much on Thai food and I noticed it in Thailand. I wonder if there is a different variety of cilantro that grows in Asia.