Why You Either Love or Hate Cilantro

Cilantro is one of those things that either you love or you hate. And thanks to my friend Dr. Jen, I now know why!


On our weekly Seawall walk on Saturday, Jen informed me that apparently there is a genetic difference between people like she and I, to whom cilantro tastes like pure freshness, and cilantro haters, to whom it tastes, apparently, like soap. My lazy attempt at finding the name of said gene1 came up empty, but apparently there is research that shows a high concordance rate for cilantro loving or hating between sets of identical twins compared to sets of fraternal twins, which suggests a genetic link.

So, the ongoing fight that Kalev and I have2  – me saying cilantro is pure deliciousness and him saying it is disgusting – should actually be reframed, since what we are arguing about is not the “taste of cilantro” but rather about two different tastes of cilantro. It’s almost like me saying, “Candy is delicious!” and him replying “No, soap tastes disgusting!”  Of course I wouldn’t like cilantro if it tasted like soap to me!  And so I’m really glad that it doesn’t! And I’m actually kind of sad for cilantro haters that they will never know the pure joy that is the taste of cilantro as I experience it!

Image Credit: Posted by Michael Lehet on Flickr.

  1. i.e., reading Wikipedia and then a Google search in which I read a couple of links, didn’t find the answer immediately, and then gave up []
  2. I have this argument with other cilantro haters too – I just have it more often with Kalev because I talk to him (and have meals with him) more often than other anti-cilantro peeps []

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