Today is International 'I Hate Coriander' Day
Today is February 24, 2020. For many people, it will just be a run-of-the-mill Monday. But for those with us with tastebuds who actually value our food, it is a time to celebrate. Because today is International 'I Hate Coriander' Day.
Have you ever been eating a burrito, or sandwich, or curry, or pasta dish, or bagel, or seemingly every food ever created and suddenly found the taste of dish soap paralyzing your tastebuds? Yep, you've just eaten coriander.
(PSA: Just to be clear, we're talking about the leaves and stalks of the plant, known as coriander in the UK, cilantro in the US, and dhania in India, before you all @ me in the comments section.)
It doesn't matter if you're eating Italian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese - whatever - this leafy herb will inevitably make an unexpected appearance to absolutely ruin your meal. I honestly don't know why so many chefs still insist on cooking with this herb, as its only purpose is to temporarily paralyzed your face as you wonder why somebody has attempted to poison your food with bleach.
As you can tell, I HATE coriander. And it's nice to know that I am not alone, as there is a Facebook group literally called 'I Hate Coriander' that boasts over 260,000 members.
Which is why we hold today so very dear to our hearts.
Three years ago, the I Hate Coriander Facebook group held an event to officially recognize the fact that so many of us are now speaking out and standing united in our hatred against the herb.
The administrator of the event wrote:
"There are many of us, we are strong, we are organised, we are over 10 per cent of the world's population that HATE CORIANDER! We are also reasonable people and our one demand is as fair as it is simple.
"Restaurants of the world, if your dish contains coriander, state it on the menu.
"We will launch a scathing campaign to name and shame eating establishments who are ignorant to the needs of the 10 per cent. We're not saying don't serve it, we're saying correctly notify your customers who stand to be affected by the soapy disgustingness of the devils 'erb."
But if you're one of those people that loves coriander/cilantro and think we're just being picky eaters, you're wrong, because our hatred for the herb apparently stems from our genetics.
According to Professor Russell Keast of the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University:
"We have smell receptors in our nose that are responsible for identifying volatile compounds in the atmosphere, including volatile compounds released from potential foods.
"Sense of smell is highly variable between people, so what I experience may not be what you experience, and this can be due to quantity, type and natural variations with smell receptors."
It is these receptors that determine what we taste when we eat coriander/cilantro. Depending on the individual's receptors, they may experience a "soap-like" flavor (I'm so glad I'm not the only one), rather than the enjoyable herby flavor that others will experience.
And it just so happens that coriander is one of those foods that can drastically differ depending on our genetic make-up - much like how some people find broccoli to be unbearably bitter.
But today is not about bashing broccoli. Today is about giving the middle finger to coriander - something that I will do proudly.
(FYI, if you are particularly patriotic, there are plenty of 'I Hate Cilantro' groups out there if you want to stay true to the US reference.)