I have a friend who has told me that she would rather drink bleach than eat coriander. That is a pretty serious thing to say. She is not alone in despising the taste of coriander.
February 24 each year is International Coriander Hatred Day.
Just how many foods have a whole day internationally dedicated to hating them?
So what is this all about?
My friend describes the taste as being like soap and it totally dominates and ruins anything it is in.
There is a specific gene in humans, OR6A2, which makes coriander (and Cilantro as it is also known) taste like soap.
So my friend and the rest of 10 percent of the population who just cannot eat coriander.
This is fine if it is easy to see in a ingredient list if it is in a food as they can stay away from that food, but it is becoming increasing difficult for these people to avoid this popular herb.
It is being used in many restaurants and cafes as a garnish or an ingredient in foods without being mentioned in the menu.
For these people coriander is no different to one of the recognised food allergens and needs to be managed as such. Although it does not cause anaphylaxis or other allergic reactions, it completely destroys the taste of any food for these people.
Just because 90 percent of the population can eat and enjoy coriander does not mean that it should be used everywhere without ensuring that there is some information about it’s presence so that it can be avoided.