At Tacos A Go Go we spend a good deal of time chopping cilantro. We toss it on tacos, dump it in salsa and mix it into sauces. But there might be a thing or two you didn’t know about the popular herb.
Cilantro, also known around the world as coriander or Chinese parsley, has been around for ages, literally. It was originally grown near present day Greece and was cultivated by ancient Egyptians and Romans for culinary and medicinal purposes (it may aid in digestion or help lower cholesterol). Studies indicate that it can prevent food poisoning due to a compound called dodecagonal, which kills salmonella bacteria.
Some say the name coriandrum, which comes from “coris”, the Greek word for “bedbug”, was used because they smelled similar. And a very vocal and prevalent group you can find online at www.ihatecilantro.com and on FaceBook (with over 16,000 likes) might agree. They are passionate and serious. They claim cilantro is the most offensive food known to man. And new studies suggest that these haters are not just picky. Researchers have identified a shared genetic variation located near the olfactory receptor OR6A2 which detects aldehydes as the reason. Not to get too technical here but aldehydes are a type of fat molecule found in essential oils, fragrances and the body fluids of some insects, and…cilantro!
At Tacos A Go Go, all of our street tacos are topped with cilantro (only 4% of Hispanics have the cilantro aversion versus 17% of Europeans). But don’t worry, haters, all you have to do is ask and we will keep the world’s most offensive food off your tacos!