The Cilantro Debacle

Food

Do you know someone, maybe you, that absolutely hates cilantro?  Maybe you think they are crazy for not loving that pungent herb that invokes the essence of Mexican cooking.  They may argue that it has a bitter, soapy taste to it that makes salsa taste like bubble bath.  Well, if you’ve ever wondered why these “picky eaters” won’t eat your delightful Mexican cooking with the fresh cilantro you got in your CSA share that week, check out this video, which offers a scientific look into why a small part of the population doesn’t like cilantro.

It turns out to be a set of genes that makes people particularly sensitive to detecting aldehydes in cilantro, which are also some of the same aldehydes found in soap.  So now you know these people have nothing against you or your cooking when they ask if you accidentally poured dish soap into your soup–they can’t help it.  They just happened to inherit the right combination of genes from their parents that make them this way.  And, FYI, if you are looking for a good cilantro substitute, parsley is a good alternative.