There’s a saying that begins, “there are two types of people in this world” and I’m here to tell you that’s just not true. Not true at all. There are people who love cilantro, there are people who hate it, and there are people who loathe it – like me. See? That’s three. There are three types of people in this world. I’m not sure how I came to fall into the later category but there’s no doubt that’s where I belong. Living life as this third type of person can be difficult, especially if you’re as great a lover of food as I am. Chefs and cooks slip this stuff in everything! Do you know how difficult it is to eat around cilantro in fresh salsa? It requires the hand of a skilled surgeon, and that, I am not.
My mom, an amazing gourmet cook, takes my distaste (and by distaste I mean disgust) for this little green leaf very personally. Her tone becomes very irritated when the subject comes up and she questions me with, “why don’t you like it?” and “what happened to make you hate it so much?” as if I were assaulted or something. I wish I had the answers. I would love to love cilantro. I would. It would make eating many of my favorite foods a whole lot easier but the problem is, IT TASTES LIKE CLEANING PRODUCTS GONE RANCID. Is that even possible? I’m not sure. If it is, you’ll know because the cleaning products will taste like cilantro. Gross, right? Exactly.
As I was explaining this to a co-worker the other day, I found it baffling how her thoughts on cilantro could vary so drastically different from mine. She said the taste reminded her of “fresh, clean, mountainous springy cleanness.” Can you find the match? Clean. Cleanness. Cleaning products. We had to be onto something here. According to a recent article in The New York Times, it’s not my fault. The article reports there are scientific reasons behind my disgust for the herb and that many people describe the taste of cilantro as either soapy or of dead bugs. I’m thankful to taste the soap when you put it that way.
If you search “cilantro” in Google, there are about 8,230,000 results that appear in 0.25 seconds. Guess what the third search result is? IHATECILANTRO.COM, a growing community of anti-cilantro advocates and pioneers aiding the fight to ban the most loathesome garnish of our time. I find comforting in knowing I am not alone on my feelings toward the subject. There is an I Hate Cilantro Blog and even a Facebook Fanpage for Cilantro Haters. An article from The Wall Street Journal refers to fellow writer and anti-cilantro activist, Erin Hollingsworth who says she lies to waiters, telling them she’s allergic to cilantro. “People take you seriously that way,” she says. Oh Erin, I feel you.
Listen up people, I couldn’t be more serious about this and I’m not ashamed. I’m going to say it loud and proud. After all, there’s room for all types of people in this world. Hi, my name is Leslie and I HATE CILANTRO.