Ah, the good ol’ cilantro debate. It seems like there is no in-between – you either hate it or you love it.
Even the legendary Julia Child had some very strong feelings towards the herb, which comes from the same plant that gives us coriander seeds.
“Cilantro and arugula I don’t like at all,” Child said in a 2002 interview with Larry King. “They’re both green herbs, they have kind of a dead taste to me.”
When King asked if she’d ever order food that contained cilantro, Child responded with, “Never. I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor.”
If you feel the same way about Cilantro, then you’re not alone. Between 4 and 14% of the population hate cilantro and many often say that it leaves them with a soap-like after taste.
However, these anti-cilantro feelings are nothing new. In fact, the word “coriander” is derived from the Greek word for bedbug, because the aroma is comparable to the “smell of bug-infested bedclothes” according to the Oxford Companion to Food.
Despite all of this, there are still millions of people from all over the world that find no issue with the herb, in fact, the smell and taste are what attracts them to it. So what is it that makes some people have such an aversion to cilantro?
The answer is in a person’s genes.