What say you? Citrus or soap?

Cilantro: Citrus or Soap?

In any use of cilantro I believe the answer is always “more cilantro” and there are plenty of people who disagree with me.It’s ok, they can’t help it. It all has to do with the aldehydes that are in cilantro and how they are processed by the your body, specifically related to a gene known as OR6A2.

Aldehydes in cilantro are related to the same aldehydes found in stinkbugs, soap, various detergents and cinnamon. Everyone has OR6A2, but it’s variations in this gene that determine how you interpret or process the flavor of cilantro.

The maligning of cilantro isn’t a new thing, cilantro only came into widespread use after World War II when trying new things became the fashion. What didn’t help cilantro up to that time was that it was used primarily in non-Europeans foods ( think African, South Asian ) which contributed to a default discriminatory position towards the plant.

Love it or hate it, you can blame it on your genes. If you do love it, here’s a tip: don’t throw away the stems because they actually contain more flavor than the leaf. If you want to use them in salsas, etc, just pulverize them in a food processor.