You are what you eat & drink

Love To Hate Cilantro?

It’s In Your Genes And Maybe, In Your Head

The very sight of this lacy, green herb can cause some people to scream. The great cilantro debate heats up as scientists start pinpointing cilantrophobe genes.

There’s no question that cilantro is a polarizing herb. Some of us heap it onto salsas and soups with gusto while others avoid cilantro because it smells like soap and tastes like crushed bugs.

Some people despise the lacy green herb so much that there’s even an I Hate Cilantro website. There, cilantrophobes post haikus expressing their passionate anger and disgust at the leafy green: “Such acrid debris! This passes as seasoning? Socrates’ hemlock!” writes user Dubhloaich.

But what separates the cilantro lovers from the haters? Is it hard-wired in our genes, as Harold McGee suggested a few years ago in the New York Times, or can we learn to enjoy cilantro if we associate its flavor with fresh fish tacos or bowls of spicy pho? It’s probably not so simple.

Two studies published this week link the aversion for cilantro with specific genes involved in taste and smell. But, just like the flavors of the herb itself, the findings are nuanced: The genes appear to influence our opinion of cilantro but probably not as much as we initially thought.

Geneticists at 23andMe in California asked about 25,000 people whether they like cilantro or think it smells soapy. When they searched the people’s DNA for regions that correlate with a distaste for the herb, a single spot jumped out. And, it sits right next to a cluster of odor-detecting genes, including one that is known to specifically recognize the soapy aromas in cilantro’s bouquet. (They’ll analyze your genome, too, for $299.)

Source: npr the Salt Read more

Comment:

Such pretty little flowers

Well, I had no idea. I love cilantro.

I know the herb and spice as coriander, it appears that Americans have taken to speaking more Spanish than they think calling it cilantro.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also known as cilantro, Chinese parsley, coentro or dhania.

All parts of the plant can be used, leaves, roots and seeds.

Coriander, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. It has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran and a diuretic in India when mixed with cumin. Coriander has also been documented as a traditional treatment for diabetes. A study on mice found coriander extract had both insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity. – Wikipedia

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