Monday, 13 November 2017


And that goes for Cilantro as well (although they are supposedly the same thing.

Coriander (Cilantro)

This bastard of a herb surfaced about twenty years ago in restaurants and cafes in New Zild and cooks and chefs for some reason think it's cool or clever to put it in almost every fucking dish they cook.

It smells horrible. It tastes horrible. It looks horrible and it ruins the taste of whatever it's sitting on or in. It's made by the devil.

This SBS report by Mikey Nicholson tries to explain why some people like coriander and some people hate it:

Whether you call it coriander or cilantro, there’s no denying it, this herb splits people into two camps - love or hate. But why does such a humble herb create such havoc on your dinner plate?

Enter genetics as a likely culprit.
A few years ago the largest genetic testing company 23andMe surveyed 50,000 of their customers asking whether they liked the taste of coriander or found it to be soapy.

The results when comparing the DNA of the coriander haters to that of coriander lovers found "a SNP (or genetic variation) called rs72921001 to be associated with the trait in a subset of about 25,000 people with European ancestry. (About 13 percent of 23andMe customers with European ancestry answered that cilantro tastes soapy, and 26 percent dislike it.)"
"Cilantro’s aromatic qualities primarily depend on a group of compounds known as aldehydes," states the report. "One type of aldehyde has been described as being 'fruity' and 'green' and another type as being 'soapy' and 'pungent'. One of the eight genes near the SNP we identified codes for a receptor called OR6A2, which is known to detect aldehydes such as those found in cilantro."
So - if you have those pesky OR6A2 receptors you're likely to taste soap and thus not enjoy this leafy herb. Case closed, right?
As with most genetic research of this type, there's a necessary caveat: “although this finding provides evidence that genetic variation in olfactory receptors is involved in cilantro (coriander) taste perception, common genetic variants explain only a very small part of the difference — a half percent.”
So you might also struggle getting it down because other factors, such as your ethnographics. Another study has found that if your family aren’t big coriander lovers or users then you're less likely to be into it as well. Know what that means? There’s hope for you with a little coriander persistence!

OK but I'm not convinced that this weed deserves all that investigation and analysis. If I wanted to ruin my meals with weeds I'd just put some deadly nightshade or thistles on my dinner.

Today The Old Girl and I had brunch at a busy and trendy Auckland cafe. The breakfasts we ordered - poached eggs, bacon, avocado, creamed fetta and tomatoes for me and herbed scrambled eggs with halloumi for her were quite nice but totally ruined by over liberal use of fucking coriander.

This herb is so strong that it overpowers the flavours of any food that it is with. I guess that its main usefulness in the past was for disguising tastes and smells of rotten food.

What I can't understand is why cafes don't list it in the advertised menu or have it as an optional addition. No meal comes with hot mustard or chillies without being mentioned but they think that coriander/cilantro is alright. Well it's not. OK?


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  2. So far we've had sausages and coriander. I guess it's going to take months to get to anything resembling a restaurant critique. I'm guessing that the next post will be about a bacon and egg pie that the old fella bought that had too much egg and not enough bacon.

  3. The next post will be a restaurant critique but thanks for reminding me about the variability of bacon and egg pies. Fortunately up North we have some good bakeries that make a pretty decent pie but I've had some pretty crummy ones in Auckland. I make a pretty good one myself which I will recount soon. Perhaps a Post about the best and worst bacon and egg pies I've had in my lifetime is way overdue. Once again thank's Richard, your input is appreciated.



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