Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

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Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Love it!
13
57%
It's okay
4
17%
Meh.
2
9%
Hate it!
1
4%
Other
3
13%
 
Total votes : 23

Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:36 pm

Cilantro, from the garden! Destined for a Thai-style curry tonight. Quick poll: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:43 am

Neither. I like it, although it doesn't really get me excited and it doesn't seem as versatile (for our cooking patterns) as some other herbs (parsley and oregano are probably the standards, plus dill and rosemary).

That said, the past few weeks I've been regularly making various cilantro sauces, with lime, garlic, pumpkin seeds, oils, various additions depending on the dish. And it's all been delicious.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Ken Schechet » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:04 am

Pretty much agree with Rahsaan. It's good in dishes where it belongs (Thai, Mexican, etc) but otherwise not too exciting.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Doug Surplus » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:12 am

I only like it when it's used sparingly. Many restaurants use too much and it overpowers the rest of the ingredients.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Christina Georgina » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:12 am

Recently discovered the Yemenite condiment , Schug, which is cilantro, garlic, hot green peppers with small amounts of cardamom and caraway.....Love cilantro for things like this.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:42 am

I've brought up the DNA testing firm, 23andMe, before -- one thing they are trying to do is figure out why some people hate cilantro. I think that "loving" it may involve a lot of acculturation, like other tastes (black coffee, beer, garlic). But "hating" it may have to do with whether you are homozygotic for some kind of soapy smell gene. If something really smells like soap to you, you are not going to want to put it in your mouth.

I like it, and I would go along with Ottolenghi's assertion somewhere in his cookbooks, that several Italian dishes would be improved by the use of cilantro, which of course is a cultural no no. When I was making Khoreshe Karafs, a Persian lamb stew, for a crowd I embarrassed myself by buying cilantro by mistake instead of parsley -- and I didn't have time to "fix" the error so I just went ahead and used a ton of it in the dish. Everyone liked it. I had been sure that there would be a few cilantro haters who would refuse to eat it but no. I read a variety of recipes later and evidently in Persian cooking, at least in that dish, the thinking is "either/or, or both" so it wasn't something that would have upset Persian diners...
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:42 pm

I could live without parsley way before I could live without cilantro. It is the backbone of so many great dishes in a variety of cuisines - Asian, Indian, Mexican... Many of these dishes have a very harmonious balance of flavors, and cilantro is key, although not overwhelming in a lot of cases. I bet most people wouldn't even know it was there in a lot of dishes if it is subtly used. Between the leaves and the seed (coriander), I think it is one of the most versatile herbs out there.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby John Treder » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:56 pm

I like it enough to have it growing in the back yard. Darn stuff bolts, though, no sooner than it's planted.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:00 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Cilantro, from the garden!


Congratulations that is one herb I can't grow. Can never catch it before bolting! Voted for "love it."
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Jon Peterson » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:24 pm

Even when I know a dish has cilantro in it, once in a while I bite into an area of high concentration and the taste overwhelms, if just for a few seconds - I love when that happens!
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:58 pm

Love cilantro and do grow it but gave up this year. Like others have said, no sooner does the sun shine that it bolts. I buy it from the Asians at our Farmer's Market. They seem to know better what they are doing, They pull it out by the roots and I keep it in water, with a plastic bag over the top...like it's own greenhouse in the fridge. Keeps for at least three weeks and more. They sell it in large bunches, so I have made cilantro pesto, with pistachio, lemon or lime. Have even made it with a mix of evoo and almond or hazelnut oils. Very yummy. Not only do I use it for Thai dishes, but put it into rice just before serving, salads, sandwiches, wraps, omelets, tacos, Mexican soups, and any dish I think it would compliment.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:39 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:Can never catch it before bolting!

Don't you check your garden every day, Carl? I'm pretty sure it (at least most cultivars) don't bolt within 24 or 48 hours. We view garden cilantro as a short-lived treat and try to use it a lot as soon as it starts leafing.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:42 pm

Frank Deis wrote:... "hating" it may have to do with whether you are homozygotic for some kind of soapy smell gene. If something really smells like soap to you, you are not going to want to put it in your mouth.

I never got "soap," but I have long thought that it smells a great deal like childhood memories of sniffing the box of Crayolas. An evocative, nostaligic scent, but not one that I would normally associate with food. (Few kindergarteners try eating a crayon after the initial experiment. :mrgreen: )

I was "meh" about cilantro when I first encountered it, but recognized that it has so much use in so many cuisines that I like that I practiced aversion therapy and kept on accepting it until I eventually came to love it, so maybe I'm one of those few people who can cross the line. I love it now.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Shaji M » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:56 pm

Cilantro..love the stuff like some creatures like crack nip..I mean cat nip :roll:
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:04 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Frank Deis wrote:... "hating" it may have to do with whether you are homozygotic for some kind of soapy smell gene. If something really smells like soap to you, you are not going to want to put it in your mouth.

I never got "soap," but I have long thought that it smells a great deal like childhood memories of sniffing the box of Crayolas. An evocative, nostaligic scent, but not one that I would normally associate with food. (Few kindergarteners try eating a crayon after the initial experiment. :mrgreen: )

I was "meh" about cilantro when I first encountered it, but recognized that it has so much use in so many cuisines that I like that I practiced aversion therapy and kept on accepting it until I eventually came to love it, so maybe I'm one of those few people who can cross the line. I love it now.


It's been so long that I am having a little trouble remembering but I think I went thru that too. I can remember in Grad School smelling cilantro and thinking "soap"! But it's in many cuisines that I love and I think I learned to love it. There is a remarkable amount of cilantro in dishes from Vietnam, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, not to mention Mexico which seems to be ground zero.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:42 pm

I neither love nor hate it, Robin.

I use it in summer in salads and soups as well as Asian and meat dishes (chimichurri etc.) Truth be told, I probably use more coriander year round that cilantro, though.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Jenise » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:25 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:I neither love nor hate it, Robin.

I use it in summer in salads and soups as well as Asian and meat dishes (chimichurri etc.) Truth be told, I probably use more coriander year round that cilantro, though.


Bill, if you're talking about green herbs in both cases, coriander IS cilantro. In the U.S., it's always called the latter, in Europe, always the former. In Canada, wouldn't be suprised if both names were used (and apparently, they are).
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Jenise » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:27 pm

But put me down in the LOVE column. I adore it. Mexican and Asian, as others have mentioned, and have used it in Persian and Portugese dishes. Can be used in great quantities--it could never overpower a dish for my tastes.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:40 pm

Jenise wrote:Bill, if you're talking about green herbs in both cases, coriander IS cilantro. In the U.S., it's always called the latter, in Europe, always the former. In Canada, wouldn't be suprised if both names were used (and apparently, they are).


No, I was saying I am more likely to use the ground seed form of the plant than the fresh herb on a year round basis.
For the fresh herb, both names are used, cilantro being a late comer across the border, akin to other cultural blessings bestowed on us like reality shows. :mrgreen:

For some reason I've taken to using cilantro for the fresh herb and coriander for the ground as a convenience - I may be alone in that, but it seems a handy way to distinguish in my own mind, anyway.
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Re: Cilantro: Love it or hate it?

Postby Jenise » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:04 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:
Jenise wrote:Bill, if you're talking about green herbs in both cases, coriander IS cilantro. In the U.S., it's always called the latter, in Europe, always the former. In Canada, wouldn't be suprised if both names were used (and apparently, they are).


No, I was saying I am more likely to use the ground seed form of the plant than the fresh herb on a year round basis.
For the fresh herb, both names are used, cilantro being a late comer across the border, akin to other cultural blessings bestowed on us like reality shows. :mrgreen:

For some reason I've taken to using cilantro for the fresh herb and coriander for the ground as a convenience - I may be alone in that, but it seems a handy way to distinguish in my own mind, anyway.


Oh, okay. I'm the other way, using very little of the seed, and then when I do it's mostly in Indian dishes and often in combination with cumin. It tastes nothing like the herb that grows from it, in my opinion. Meanwhile, our love of Mexican food brings a lot cilantro into the house.
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