Black Friday Sale! Of course some of this dislike may come down to simple preference, but for those cilantro-haters for whom the plant tastes like soap, the issue is genetic. A pleasing combination of flavors reminiscent of parsley and citrus, the herb is a common ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Cilantro (aka the leaves of the coriander plant) is a tasty herb to most people. Mine happened so suddenly though - just seems odd! “I didn’t like cilantro to begin with,” he said. East Asians have the highest incidence of this variation, with some studies showing that nearly 20% of the population experiences soapy-tasting cilantro. It's the ultimate showdown! “It can still remind me of soap, but it’s not threatening anymore, so that association fades into the background, and I enjoy its other qualities. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Not just salsa: curry, kebabs, tacos, cilantro is key to those (if you like cilantro). I always thought it was the pairing with certain spices that masked the soap flavor. The taste was still quite strong, and unpleasant to me. The interesting parts of the article are that a neuroscientist went from hater to lover, and attributes the change partly to association and familiarity. It's seriously been the bane of my culinary existence and has held me back from trying a lot of new dishes. I really might if I'm still able to. I'm not sure what happened. It tasted like dish soap. However, some people find cilantro revolting, including, famously, the chef Julia Child. I've had no serious injuries or sudden diet changes. Harold talks about a Japanese study which attempted to isolate volatiles in cilantro and characterize how, where, when and why they occur or go away. I once had a fancy pizza that came with some dollops of green stuff that I thought was pesto, took one bite and realized it must have been straight cilantro puree. This happened to me as well, I hated it as a teen. That's what I was thinking! and they happily obliged with no problem. On the other hand, if I ate cilantro once and never willingly let it pass my lips again, there wouldn’t have been a … A good debate centers around a harmless herb—cilantro. Interesting. On the other hand, if I ate cilantro once and never willingly let it pass my lips again, there wouldn’t have been a chance to reshape that perception.”. However, some people find cilantro revolting, including, famously, the chef Julia Child. It could also just be that because you keep eating it while having dinner with your wife, or out with friends, that your brain just starting saying "Fuck it, I guess this isn't bad" like the neuroscientist. I, on the other hand, had no taste of it whatsoever and was able to finish the entire container of it. People either love it and use it in everything from fish tacos to cilantro-lime rice, or they can’t stand the taste of it.For some, cilantro tastes like soap, dirt, crushed bugs or metal shavings. Post anything related to cooking here, within reason. If cilantro smells or tastes like soap, it could be because you're genetically made up to detect a certain chemical. Of course some of this dislike may come down to simple preference, but for those cilantro-haters for whom the plant tastes like soap, the issue is genetic. I call on the phone, do the usual "Ah, no, no cilantro please. They mention specifically that they used a mortar and pestle to crush the cilantro. Aldehyde chemicals are found in both cilantro and soap. Allegedly, there are people who have trained themselves like cilantro, even though it tastes like soap. It was unclear if these individuals are ignoring the soap taste and taste cilantro normally, or just trained themselves to like the taste of soap. Yeahhhh, it tastes like soap - yeah it is weird!" Here's a snippet from the article. This genetic quirk is usually only found in a small percent of the population, though it varies geographically. So, to answer your question, or attempt to, I would say that the preparation method might have to do with why you all of a sudden don't mind the cilantro, or that it doesn't taste as "soapy". Of course, if you try eating it after various preparation methods and still find that you hate it or only that salsa is good, then I'm out of ideas. It seems to vary from plant to plant or should I say crop to crop. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. The article is interesting enough, though not the easiest read. That's interesting because while I'm in the "tastes like soap" camp I find that in certain preparations (usually Indian food) I don't mind it much. 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. Also immediately subscribed to. But I would recommend smashing a bunch in a mortar and trying it out, or ask the restaurant if that's how they made the salsa. However, they also talk a bit about cutting cilantro and leaving it, which apparently over time will also lose some 'soapy' aldehydes. For some of us, it’s not a matter of choice; rather, we seem to have a genetic inability to taste anything but a soapy flavor. They mention specifically that they used a mortar and pestle to crush the cilantro. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. These people have a variation in a group of olfactory-receptor genes that allows them to strongly perceive the soapy-flavored aldehydes in cilantro leaves. I don't know what's up with that- but it fluctuates for me. Interestingly, places where cilantro is especially popular, such as Central America and India, have fewer people with these genes, which might explain how the herb was able to become such a mainstay in those regions. I take our feast home and have my wife take a taste of their house salsa (which we knew had cilantro in it but we wanted to try it just to see) and she (she has the same genetic defect as me) instantly said she tasted the cilantro and didn't want anymore. I would say that the preparation method might have to do with why you all of a sudden don't mind the cilantro, or that it doesn't taste as "soapy". However, they also talk a bit about cutting cilantro and leaving it, which apparently over time will also lose some 'soapy' aldehydes. Head over to r/SalsaSnobs and take advantage of your newfound fortune. There is some evidence that cilantrophobes can overcome their aversion with repeated exposure to the herb, especially if it is crushed rather than served whole, but many people simply choose to go with their genetic inclinations and avoid its soapiness altogether. WHAT? The key aroma components in cilantro consist of various aldehydes, in particular (E)-2-alkenals and n-aldehydes.In a study conducted by genomics company 23andMe, scientists discovered that a reception gene identified as OR6A2, which resides on chromosome 11, is responsible for binding the various aldehyde components to its receptors. He explains that after conducting a few separate studies, scientists were able to pin down most cilantro haters as people with a shared group of olfactory-receptor genes, called OR6A2, that pick up on the smell of aldehyde chemicals. Then eat some soap for comparison. Do you guys have any insight into this? They most certainly had not. I've tried it multiple times in the past, both by accident and on purpose, to see if things had changed. How did this suddently change?! Cookies help us deliver our Services. But now it's absolutely amazing and adds a lot of freshness to a dish. I looked it up and read about it and it turns out, to the majority of the population, coriander tases citrusy. My 21 year old was talking about the way coriander tastes like soap to her. Apparently there are people who have the mutations but don't get the soap taste of cilantro. Well, that's a subreddit I'd never encountered before. With my luck it's a one time fluke and I'll be back to my old ways soon enough, haha. Anyway, I'm hoping this isn't just a fluke.