There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to coriander (also known as cilantro). You either love it or hate it. I for one hate it…with a passion. I even subscribed to the official I Hate Cilantro Facebook page, a page that is liked by over 13.000 people (and I am sure that if more people knew of its existence, more people would subscribe).
To me, and many others, coriander tastes like soap. I know, I know. For the people that do like coriander it sounds ridiculous. But I can’t help but taste soapy yuckiness every time I eat a dish that has coriander in it. And trust me, I ALWAYS know when it has coriander in it. So, why is it that some people can only taste soap and others taste fresh, green and tasty herbiness (I don’t believe it)?
Research shows that it might be a genetic thing. It seems that some people possess a gene called OR6A2, which encodes a receptor that makes people sensitive to the aldehydes in coriander. Similar aldehydes can be found in soaps and lotions, hence why some people make the soap connection when they smell or taste the (vile) herb.
So, genetics may play a part in why you (or I) dislike coriander so much, but some people (NOT me) can learn to like the notorious herb. Jay Gottfried, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, says that your brain can develop new patterns for coriander flavour if you just keep at it (I don’t want to). “I didn’t like cilantro to begin with,” Gottfried said. “But I love food, and I ate all kinds of things and I kept encountering it. My brain must have developed new patterns for cilantro flavour from those experiences, which included pleasure from the other flavours and the sharing with friends and family. That’s how people in cilantro-eating countries experience it every day.”
Do you hate or love coriander? If you are a hater, are you willing to keep on trying to eventually like it? Let us know & leave a comment!
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