Opinion: Cilantro Dubbed “Worst Herb Ever”

Emma Dram, Staff Writer

“You’re making a big deal. Ignore it. But it doesn’t taste like anything. You just haven’t tried it yet.”

I know all picky eaters can relate to hearing these things about their eating habits. Whether it be certain cheeses, seafood or vegetables, everybody has something they refuse to eat (and for those of you that don’t, I envy you).

Personally, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a “picky eater”—I don’t like ribs, I think cooked broccoli is atrocious and hard boiled eggs make me nauseous, but I’d say my preferences are otherwise normal. That being said, the number one thing I absolutely loathe is something so many people seemingly have an appreciation for.


I’ve despised this wretched herb ever since I was old enough to know what hatred felt like. I’ve trained myself to pick out cilantro from any distance; my very own radar with an 100% success rate. If the filth is anywhere in my vicinity—or, godforbid, my plate—I will sniff it out and remove it from the premises with a disgust that has only ever been matched by “The Bachelorette” nation when they found out Jed Wyatts already had a girlfriend in season 15 (Hannah, you deserved better).

And I’m not alone. According to Food52, it’s estimated that 4-14% of the population have the same contempt for the god-forsaken herb. That’s anywhere from 13,276,000 to 46,466,000 people. And to the 86-96% of the population that’s indifferent to it, I think I speak for cilantro-haters nationwide when I ask:

You think we like hating cilantro?

You think it’s easy hating the herb that finds itself on every dish imaginable without reason? Guacamole, salads, Chipotle rice—it’s everywhere. But to all my cilantro haters, I have some good news. We can blame genetics.

According to Dr. Neha Vyas of the Cleveland Health Clinic, “those who dislike cilantro tend to have a gene that detects the aldehyde part of cilantro as a soapy smell and taste.”

I feel validated. Dr. Vyas, I just might love you.

Finally, a medically defensible explanation to my long-lasting feud with cilantro. No longer must I hang my head in shame when I order my meals with “if it’s possible, no cilantro please.” Instead, I’ll raise my head in dignity and honor as I defend my controversial ideology.

After all, I have a medical excuse. One that’s totally reasonable, completely valid, and medically defensible.

Maybe Dr. Vyas could write me a doctor’s note.