Friday, October 29, 2010

Cilantro: Love It or Hate It?

Do you know what this is?


It's a bunch of cilantro. I have two recipes to post next week - both that contain cilantro. Well, at least as part of the condiment.

And, based on what I've learned about people and cilantro, you are either saying, "YUM YUM YUMMY YUM YUM. Can't wait, can't wait."


"GAG ME WITH A SPOON. Note to self: Stay away from Short Stop all next week."

What is it about cilantro?

I tell you, people either love it or hate. Or so it seems.

I am a cilantro convert - apparently a very rare species. I used to be a cilantro-hater. I would pick out every last tiny little bit of a leaf of it if I spotted it in my Mexican food. So would my sister. So does my sister. If you even mention the word cilantro - her face immediately crinkles up in disgust.

"That stuff is nasty", she says as she shakes her head.

One of my very good friends feels exactly the same way as my sister.

My other sister, however, can't get enough of it. In an "OH, THE BLESSINGS GOD HAS SENT US FROM ABOVE, this stuff is amazing on everything. I want to be laid to rest on a bed of cilantro leaves so that I can be surrounded by it for eternity" kind of way.

Her husband - cilantro-hater.

Following a discussion between me and my sister's college friends regarding her absolute loathing of cilantro, I called my sister and told her what we'd discussed. The next morning, she sent me an email. It only contained a link:

Of which its contents caused me to laugh so hard I could hardly breathe.

In describing the taste of cilantro, here are some of the responses the "members" - of which there are 3,110 (OMG!) - posted on the site:

Rancid, metallic green perfume.
Grass and nickels.
Old dirty dishrags.
a cigarette if you ate it.
kerosene and mint.

There is a section where members have written haikus (Yes, HAIKUS!) about their utter disdain for cilantro:

in a single word
i describe the evil plant:

Spice of the devil
Cilantro contaminates
A perfect salsa

And, so - I must ask our little community here:

Do you LOATHE cilantro? or

Do you absolutely LOVE it?

Are any of you of the very rare "Eh, it's ok. I could take it or leave it" group? or

Are you, like me, a convert - hated it, but it grew on you over time and really like it now?

I'm so very curious.

So, come on out and share your thoughts all ye who have encountered this controversial little herb - lovers, haters, shoulder shruggers, and converts.

I wanna know who I'm dealing with here.


  1. LOVE IT!

    Supposedly there's a genetic thing that makes cilantro taste like soap to some people, and my mom doesn't like it for that reason. She says it's like eating Dawn.

  2. I love, love, love it! I first tasted it in a salad that Chili's offered and had no idea what that taste was and kept asking until I identified it. I actually craved that salad because of the taste! I have heard also that it is genetic.

  3. I'm one of the rare people who says meh. I don't love it, but I don't take it out of food that it is already in/on either.

  4. You know my feelings on the matter, but since others might not...cilantro is the froo-its of the devil. Like I said before, the person who said it tastes like "grass and nickels" was dead on. That is totally what it tastes like.

  5. Oh and Dave LOVES it. It is his only flaw. ;-)

  6. I love cilantro. It's what makes the rice at Chipotle so special and fresh salsa so refreshing.

    My husband, on the other hand, hates it. He asks for his rice to be prepared plain when we order burritos at Chipotle. I'll admit that sometimes I sneak cilantro into his food.

  7. A group of us had this discussion just last night! And we agreed ... it is mostly either a love it or hate it thing!

    Me .... L-O-V-E IT!!! :)

  8. I can take it or leave it. It's good, but I don't really miss it when it's not there.
    However - I'm anxious to see your recipes!

  9. I'm a rare shoulder shrugger. really. I feel totally indifferent.

  10. I love it! I grew it in the garden this summer so that I could go out and pick a bunch and add it to my corn and black bean salsa! Or southwestern pasta salad! YUMMY! Can't wait to see your recipes!

  11. Absolutely LOVE it! I have a hispanic background,what can I say...

  12. Love, love, love. Can't get enough. In fact, that burying me in it thing you said sounds just about perfect

  13. Hate it! It tastes to me like the smell of industrial floor cleaner. Yuck! However, I LOVE the haikus! :-)

  14. I'm a convert. We moved from Minnesota to Southern California 8 years ago. I would say it took a good year or two to appreciate it once we moved, because I had never heard of it while we lived in Minnesota!

  15. In a fresh tomato salsa, I think it is divine! Never tried it on anything else though. And actually only recently had it, like a year ago when I made salsa for the first time.

  16. oh, just read through your comments... i guess i also enjoy it on the rice at chipotle... i do love me some chipotle!

    so i guess i am a lover. :-)

  17. Okay, I sense that this is not a zinger question, so I will answer. *wink, wink*

    I LOVE cilantro. It makes everything taste fresh and zippy.

    Dan would rather that cilantro went the way of the dodo.

  18. I like moderation. Once there gets to be "too much" cilantro in something, it tastes/smells too much like celery, and I really dislike celery.

  19. LOVE IT!!!

    Only discovered it a few years ago - my sister and my husband can't stand it.

    Can't wait to see your recipes!

  20. I'm surprised to see those in the middle - I'm with you in thinking it was a love it or hate it herb. :)

    I LOVE it, my hubby hates it. :( Daughter loves it, son hates it. *sigh

  21. I'm a cilantro convert. I used to not like it at all, but its unique flavor is growing on me and I find myself using it more often in recipes.

  22. I don't remember having it growing up. I'm probably of the meh group too. I eat it on California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken pizza but don't buy it to put on the bbq chicken pizza I make at home.

    My husband hates basil! I (who am very picky and hate lots of stuff) like basil. However, my hubby who will eat anything you put in front of him w/o even asking what it is hates it. :) I guess it's true that everyone has different tastes, but taste buds do change over time or you learn how to like/cook different things!

  23. Deeply in love. Have been for awhile. Love it in asian, mexican/southwestern, anywhere I can use it.

    Just this afternoon I was unpacking the groceries and smelling it, just for fun.

  24. Hate it. Sixteen thousand ways to Sunday and back. But I LOVE that you are asking this question....because you + me are the only two people on Earth I know who ponder cilantro.

  25. i love love love it! my mom hates it. my dad likes it. my hubby loves it. not sure about the kids yet since they eat nothing but yogurt and poptarts and of all the available poptart flavors, cilantro is not one of them.