Did you know some people are genetically wired to hate cilantro? To those unlucky few, cilantro tastes like dirt, bugs (?!) or soap. Even Julia Child, culinary aficionado, falls into the group of cilantro haters. She famously told Larry King, "I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor” if she was ever served the herb. Fortunately, I have the gene that thinks cilantro tastes and smells delicious! Apparently, the aversion has something to do with a gene linked to smell rather than taste. To me, it makes everything taste fresher and brighter, which is why it pairs so well with spicy foods like salsa and pho. I also love the summery smell and could bury my face in it - which I often do in grocery stores when trying to figure out the difference between parsley and cilantro. There is nothing worse than getting home to whip up some salsa and realize you accidentally bought parsley!
Here are 6 recipes from around the web that highlight this wonderfully divisive herb! Just be sure to check that your dinner guests are not part of the small percentage of people who hate cilantro!
*If you are a cilantro hater who wants to be converted, the NY Times says you can slowly build up an appreciation for the herb by making a cilantro pesto. Crushing the leaves will gradually change the leaves enzymes which gives the cilantro a more mild aroma and taste. In short, crushing it makes this herb taste less soapy.
Don't forget the Cilantro Coconut Cooler cocktail that we made for our health inspired "resolution cocktails." It would be so refreshing on a hot day paired with some tacos!
Try out one of the recipes and let us know how it goes! I'm going to try the cilantro lime cucumber salad first!
(cilantro photos and cocktail photo, Jamie Grill Photography)