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Frame: Cilantro-phobic

November 18, 2010

Today I shared with a friend the information that I’m not really a fan of cilantro. This is something I usually try to keep to myself- I’m a food person, after all, don’t need people knowing I’m not crazy about a pretty popular herb. I’ll eat cilantro, I’ll even cook with it, but whenever possible I substitute flat leaf parsley or mint. When I admitted that I didn’t like cilantro, the response I got was “you know there’s a gene for that.”

There is a gene that specifically dictates whether or not one enjoys cilantro? Tell me more about this incredibly odd sounding phenomenon.

“It tastes like soap to you, right?” my friend said. Exactly. “Some people are just genetically programmed to dislike cilantro.”
I was still skeptical, so I looked it up. Sure enough, good old New York Times has an article on it, found here. Apparently I’m not alone in being a “cilantrophobe,” and this condition has been/is being studied by flavor chemists. (Flavor chemist? Where can I get this job, and how much does it pay? Can I wear a lab coat?)

While I felt good learning that I’m not alone in disliking cilantro, I feel great knowing that I share this issue with one Julia Child, who, when once asked by Larry King if she would ever order it, responded:

““Never. I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor.”

She’d probably stomp on it as she walked away, too. Take that, cilantro. OR ELSE.

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