Soaps On: The Mysteries (and wonders) of Cilantro

In the pantheon of people I hate—Cowboys fans, tall people in front of me at concerts, mutants who don't respect bike lanes—eaters who shun cilantro are pretty central.

Well, turns out it might not be entirely their fault. From the New York Times:

Some people may be genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro, according to often-cited studies by Charles J. Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. But cilantrophobe genetics remain little known and aren’t under systematic investigation. Meanwhile, history, chemistry and neurology have been adding some valuable pieces to the puzzle.

The writer also insists that there's hope for "cilantrophobes." He meets a neuroscientist who has overcome his plight:

“I didn’t like cilantro to begin with,” he 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 flavor from those experiences, which included pleasure from the other flavors and the sharing with friends and family. That’s how people in cilantro-eating countries experience it every day.”

So, maybe I should stop with the hate, and instead feel pity. Without hard work and perseverance, those people will never know the joy of the perfect taco (corn tortilla, meat—tongue, or lengua if ya got it—onions and a heap of cilantro), a grass-fed steak topped with fresh cilantro chimichurri or an exquisitely balanced Thai salad, elevated with chopped mint and cilantro.