Mexican recipes are a staple in my menu plans because they are often corn or rice based and naturally gluten free. However, although many Mexican recipes contain cilantro, I don’t use it. The reason is that my youngest son has a cilantro aversion. It’s different than simply not liking a food.
We first found that my son didn’t like cilantro when he was middle school aged. I home schooled my boys, and at the time we were doing a botany unit. He grew a number of herbs himself and really liked trying them in foods. He liked all of them except cilantro, and it was clear that he really disliked it.
Some years later, he told me he read online about cilantro aversion. It was new to me, but to some people, cilantro tastes like non-food. For some it has a specific taste, like soap. My son says it tastes like something that is not supposed to be eaten.
The reason for cilantro aversion is in part related to genes involved in sensing smells. The genes pick up on the smell of aldehyde chemicals, which are found in cilantro (think of formaldehyde). Some people have been able to overcome this aversion, but according to The New York Times, even Julia Child hated cilanto.
So, I’m curious. Do you love or hate cilantro? Have you overcome a cilantro aversion?