If guacamole is another must-have on Cinco de Mayo, could we perhaps hold the cilantro?
I've cultivated this herb because my daughter likes it – a lot – for its zestiness. But the taste generally turns me off. It seems musky. My husband doesn't fancy it either.
Over the winter, I was reading his Chemical & Engineering News magazine. My favorite page is at the back, called “Newscripts.” In the Feb. 8 issue, columnist Alexander H. Tullo explains his aversion to cilantro, and discusses the love-it-or-hate phenomenon.
This is Chemical & Engineering News, not Bon Appetit, so he writes about a chemical analysis called “gas chromatography/olfactometry, a technique that separates the components of a complex sample and allows subjects to smell them one at a time.” Charles J. Wysocki, a scientist at Monnell Chemical Senses Center, is quoted saying, “We are working on the hypothesis that many dislikers of cilantro are missing some critical component that allows other to appreciate it.”
Working with the public, it's often avisable to avoid garlic – another guacamole ingredient subtracted from the list. Give me fresh parsley over cilantro May 5 or any day. If I'm lucky enough to find an avocado ripened to perfection, I'll mash it up, scoop it with a chip and enjoy.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Barb Miller is a staff writer at the Observer-Reporter. Follow her on Twitter at @reporterbarb.