Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cilantro..Love it or Leave it

We were at our Cooking for Survivors  (subject; super foods)yesterday. Some of my fellow students have sensitive stomachs due to undergoing chemo so the instructor always encourages people to speak up if she is about to add an ingredient that would disagree with them. As she was about to add cilantro to a watermelon salsa ( a mix of watermelon and pineapple served with Terra Chips..tasty), a woman spoke up..please don't add that. I have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap. Another woman spoke up Me Too!!

Seriously. I did look this up. Cilantro haters (they have their own Facebook page and webpage) seem fairly united describing the awful taste of cilantro as 'soapy'. There is an aldehyde in cilantro that is in most soaps but for most people, it is overshadowed by a very pleasant other aldehyde with citrusy notes. The cilantro haters lack a receptor for it so all they can taste is soap. Julia Child apparently was one of these people. So this gene mainly occurs in Northern Europeans. Asians rarely characterize cilantro as soap. The two women happened to be Jewish but I haven't found any studies specifically discussing that. I do know that it is hit or miss sending Steve to buy cilantro. He will come back with parsley claiming it looks the same.

But it doesn't smell the same.

He had an opportunity to gloat as I thought I was growing  cilantro in my spice pot. It did look much lusher than early attempts to grow it. But when I went to harvest the leaves....parsley. In my defense, the cilantro seedling were right next to the parsley. I grabbed the lushest pot without smelling the leaves.

The cilantro haters were given their own dish. I happen to love cilantro.

Another strange issue. A woman on chemo went to a special nutritionist (I forgot what she called her) for complementary therapy (that's with an 'e': complementary therapy is rarely complimentary). She is undergoing a special 'detox diet which means nothing from the deadly nightshade family. All right, so she should skip the bella donna but the family includes tomatoes, egg plant, and peppers.(which our nutritionist called superfoods though not the eggplant). She also included onions and garlic which I am fairly sure are NOT in the deadly night shade family. Never grow this plant as just 2 of its pretty berries could kill a child.
Also she was told not to sweat. If she gets hot, use cold compresses. I wanted to tell her that this therapist was a quack but....

No comments:


Blog Archive