This green herb is popping in the oddest recipes. Once an obscure green, newcomer cilantro is a rising star. Why? To me, cilantro tastes like soap, shampoo, something yucky. I can smell it before I see it. I don’t understand the hoopla. AND, I intensely dislike finding it added into my soup, salad or guacamole as if it has always belonged there. I mean, since when does a taco need cilantro?

The authoritative Oxford Companion to Food notes that the word “coriander” is said to derive from the Greek word for bedbug, that cilantro aroma “has been compared with the smell of bug-infested bedclothes” and that “Europeans often have difficulty in overcoming their initial aversion to this smell.” Too true.

and…Flavor chemists have found that cilantro aroma is created by a half-dozen or so substances, and most of these are modified fragments of fat molecules called aldehydes. The same or similar aldehydes are also found in soaps and lotions and the bug family of insects. via Arkansas Times

There are many websites devoted to hating the taste of cilantro. Visit  ihatecilantro, or join the 3600+ fans on Facebook on the I Hate Cilantro page, even has a writer who hates it! Everyone is posting about it this week due to the wonderful article in the NYT, entitled, Cilantro Haters, It’s Not Your Fault. It is worth noting that even Julia Child detested Cilantro. The NYT article describes an interview with Larry King and Julia Child where she describes her aversion!

I have often felt like the odd woman out when making a request for no cilantro or turning my nose up when I find it lurking in a sauce or sprinkled liberally over an otherwise tasty dish.

According to the Times article: a Japanese study published in January suggested that crushing the leaves will give leaf enzymes the chance to gradually convert the aldehydes into other substances with no aroma. I will have to try that but I don’t know if I will ever get used to cilantro. There are plenty of other healthy foods that can be used as garnish. Cilantro certainly will not be part of my cooking repertoire as the rest of my family detests it too!