It turns out that cilantrophobes may have a genetic predisposition against this fabulously fragrant herb. So, I won’t blame them as much for hating one of my favorites.
I have long been intrigued by the intense feelings people have about cilantro. You rarely find a palate that is indifferent to the herb. As I’ve mentioned before, I am so drawn to it, I have been known to pluck a leaf off in the grocery store and sneak it into my mouth while I shop. Yes, kind of gross since it is likely quite a dirty leaf that has traveled through the produce distribution underworld.
If you are one of the 7,100 members of the I Hate Cilantro Facebook group or if you cringe just reading the word, you are not alone. It turns out that according to this article in the New York Times that the great divide in cilantro preference is representative of the “primal importance of smell and taste to survival, and the brain’s constant updating of its database of experiences.” And here I thought people were just being picky.
If you read the article further, you learn that some brains pick up on the “soapy” aroma in the herb telling the brain it is not a safe food. So, when people take the time to write an entire blog about hating cilantro, it turns out that they are just nurturing a primal survival instinct in the form of modern social media.
I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers BUT since it is a brain mechanism telling cilantro haters that cilantro is unsafe to eat and yet we know it IS safe to eat, does that mean cilantro lovers are just a touch more evolved? Now that I think about it, when I had my wisdom teeth removed, they were surprised to find I had only three wisdom teeth instead of the usual four. So, maybe my cilantro addiction is one more shred of evidence that I am lucky enough to be on the upside of evolution?
For those out there in my camp, you’ll love this refreshing cilantro lime vinaigrette on a summer salad. It is wonderful with greens and avocado, drizzled on fresh corn or mixed into a can of black beans. I found the recipe at the blog For the Love of Cooking and I look forward to trying the dressing on the Southwestern salad she recommends.
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup canola oil
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar OR red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
Use am immersion blender or a regular blender to blend the dressing. Let the flavors mingle for at least 30 minutes before using.PRINT RECIPE