Skip to main content

Cause celebre

By April 17, 2006sites to see, thoughts

Over at Childs Play x2, Matthew, in his response to the Six Weird Things meme, admitted that he hates cilantro.

Those of you who know me above and beyond the blog probably know that I, too, dislike cilantro. So much so that somewhere along the way, I started telling waiters and waitresses that I was allergic to the stuff just so they would stop trying to convince me that I wouldn’t taste the cilantro in the dish I was trying to order without cilantro. (Question: if I’m not going to taste the cilantro, why is it in the dish in the first place?)

Anyway, I posted a comment to Matthew’s post, to the effect that I was his colleague in cilantro hate-dom. I was going to tell him that I found some vindication at some point when I learned that the cilantro thing is hereditary and is, in fact, a form of an allergic reaction shared by approximately 1 in 100 people. To support my claim, I googled “cilantro allergy.”

This website, gentle readers, is what I found.

In general, its contributors are a little more up-in-arms than I feel, but the simple fact of the website is just phenomenal to me. The 21st century is a funny funny place I tell you. And I’m glad to be sharing it with you.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Matthew says:

    That is awesome. For me, I can’t claim the heredity thing because my mother is Mexican-American and apparently all Mexicans love cilantro (according to my mother). I am the black sheep in the family.

  • lori cohen says:


    I’m severely intolerant of cilantro & coriander. In addition I am intolerant to basil,curry,dill,thyme,cloves,fennel, cumin,cloves, and aromatics. This condition becomes so serious that I must carry an Epi-pen and cortisone at all times. Now that cilantro is ubiquitous, I live in tremendous danger.

    Interestingly, I believe that this allergy has been in my genepool for a long time. I am wondering if being Jewish has anything to do with the genetic disposition to these extreme sensitivities. I’d like to hear from others who dodge bullets when they dine out.

  • Elaine says:

    Just wanted to let people know that having an allergic reaction to cilantro can be part of your genes even if your parents are not allergic to it.
    My grandmother was allergic to it, but did not develop the allergy until she was into her late 70s. My Mother is not allergic to cilantro at all, but I am highly allergic. I used to be able to eat cilantro without any reaction at all, but over the past few years I have become allergic. During this year I have become increasingly more allergic as time goes by. The reaction that I get is that my throat starts to close up. I have found that keeping some extremely strong mints with me at all times can help most of the time, as I have not been able to get into the doctor to have him give me something for the reaction. Hope this helps others out there if they aren’t into carrying a needle around or have the allergy pop up on them suddenly. If you have any other ideas that could help, please let me know.

  • Wendy says:

    I am highly allergic to Cilantro. My mother was growing up, but not so much anymore. However, I can’t even be in the room with it if it’s being chopped or smell it at the grocery store.
    That’s why I am glad to be a chef- because I can tell all herbs by sight. My throat closes up and I get all itchy and disoriented… It happened last night in class. That was the worst reaction ever. Someone gave me a salad with cilantro in it. This sucks cause it was chopped so fine I couldn’t tell till it was too late. It took 75 mg of benedryl and 2 claratin ready tabs- plus 1.5 hours to get things back to normal where i could breathe and swallow again. It is not something I will laugh about anymore. I was almost rushed to the ER last night- not something I think I want to experience.

Leave a Reply