Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Exploring Cilantrophobia

As I mentioned in my last post, there are people out there who have an aversion to cilantro. Maybe you know one of these poor unfortunate souls. Maybe you are one. Those who dislike it do so with fervor (there is even an "I Hate Cilantro" fanpage). The interesting thing is it appears that there is a genetic explanation for cilantro hating. In fact, they're not even experiencing the same taste - to them, this otherwise delightful herb, tastes like someone spilled soap in the food.

The New York Times ran a great article exploring cilantro aversions entitled: "Cilantro haters, it's not your fault." According to this article, the specific mechanism by which cilantrophobes taste this horrible soapiness is not yet known. There seems to be some unconfirmed speculation about the web that people of European descent are more likely to be cilantro haters. A quick search of recipes from the world would seem to confirm this fact, as most recipes containing cilantro seem to be from Asia, the Mediterranean & middle-east, and South & Central America.

Factoid: When Julia Child was asked if she would ever order a dish with cilantro she replied: "Never. I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor."

Fortunately for me I am not a cilantrophobe, and it appears, as promised, in tonight's salad recipe as well. This recipe is also a re-creation of a recipe I had whilst away in Bracebridge. During the course our lunches were provided. One day after a bizarre miscommunication with the caterers, lunch for the group consisted of pizza. For myself and a celiac in the group, a local health food store, the Muskoka Natural Food Market, was charged with the task of handling our special dietary needs. One of the things they brought us was a delightful rice & cashew salad. I have done my best to duplicate it here, and I think I've hit the nail on the head. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Sesame Cashew Rice Salad
Serves 2-3

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup dried currents
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro
1 tbsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper

Salad Challenge Countdown
Salads made: 17 Salads left: 35

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