Forget politics: Cilantro is as controversial as it gets in some circles.
Many international cuisines feature cilantro as a key ingredient. Its stems and leaves add a spark of citrusy, green freshness that can't come from any other herb. Somewhere, though, there are people wandering around aimlessly, loathing cilantro. Ceviche? No way. Thai food? Too risky. Fresh salsa? Only if they know exactly what's in it.
Turns out, there is a scientific reason for hating cilantro. It contains specific aldehydes, the molecular components that give the herb its signature scent. Somehow, a whole segment of the population perceives those aldehydes as soapy, due to genetically inherited olfactory receptors. They simply can't get past the smell and basically imagine drizzling a cup of laundry detergent all over whatever dish features this leafy ingredient.
Let's settle this once and for all -- in a semi-scientific, 100-percent entertaining OCN exclusive poll:
How do you feel about cilantro?
___ I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!
___ Ugh, not in a million years!
For those of you who fall in the latter category, let us know in the comments below how you have managed with your cilantrophobia. What foods do you have to avoid? What do you want the rest of us to know about your disease ... er, dietary preferences? Leave a comment below!