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Cilantro tastes horrible!

Posted by bernergrrl z5 NH (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 21, 05 at 20:36

Hi everyone--I went to taste my cilantro tonight, and instead of that wonderful cilantro taste, I got something more like soap!! I have not sprayed anything on the cilantro or anything else for that matter in my yard. I am so sad.

Any ideas why? Any kind of nutrient deficiency? or excess?

The cilantro is in a raised bed.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

So, I just did a google on cilantro and taste, and apparently it is quite common for some people to think cilantro tastes like soap, which is really weird because I've never thought that before, UNLESS it is because I am used to grocery store cilantro. But I grew it last year and didn't notice the soapy taste. It was in a different bed; maybe it just didn't like the conditions in the present bed, although it looks happier there.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

to me, though I like it in some dishes, alone it tastes like licking a penny or a nickel...:o(


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I think I read somewhere that some plants sold as cilantro really are a slightly related plant and it tastes horrible (soapy) compared to "real" cilantro. Unfortunately, i have been reading up so much on herbs that I do not remember where I saw this. I want to say it was an article on the internet by Conrad Richter (I did some google searches with things like "herbs containers conrad richter," etc. Best of luck!


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Taste is such a subjective thing. This is one case where I'd love to be able to drop in and nibble a bit for you, give you my verdict. If it truely is Coriandrum sativum I'd suggest you go ahead with it, let it grow on, harvest it and reassess, maybe compare with some shop bought cilantro? Just a suggestion.

I've grown it in different places, soil types, time of the year etc and never noticed any major variation in flavour.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Oh thank god for you... I grew cilantro for the first time last year and absolutely hated it! Everyone thought I was a freak :D I did grow it again this year, but didn't taste it.. just thought it was pretty ;)


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Thanks everyone! I'll check the packet (grew it from seed) and see what I have. The cilantro in the garden tastes so differently from what I get in the grocery store and from last year's.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I live in Tucson, AZ, home of wonderful home-made salsa and other Mexican foods. Cilantro is one of those herbs that you either really love, or really hate. I love it, my husband hates it. Those who hate it often say it has a soapy taste. I've never thought that and I've purchased it in the grocery store and have grown my own. I loved both! So, I'm not sure what the deal is with your plant but I thought I'd just put in my 2 cents.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I'm neutral on it, But everyone else in the family either loves it or hates it. My husband also hates the smell of it, which is why I plant it at the edge of the herb bed, in front of the rosemary and basil. It keeps him from mowing into the herbs when he cuts the grass!


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

LOL at Sharon SD!!

The cilantro I grow is also very different in flavor from cilantro at the store. MINE IS HOT HOT HOT!!!

My variety is very sneaky...spicy and the heat from it grows the longer it stays in a dish of food. The first time I used it in salsa for taco salad, we ate the meal about 30 minutes after I prepared it. My family asked why I'd used a dash of hot pepper in the salsa (I can't tolerate any jalepeno and very little of any hot seasoning). I HADN'T...only a sprig of cilantro. It wasn't too hot for me, but the next day no one but my sister (who I think tries to eat flames) could eat the salsa!! I now restrict usage to one leaf of cilantro in a dish and try to consume it within an hour or so.

My cilantro appeared in my garden as a result of throwing away 9 or 10-year old coriander from the kitchen cabinet into the compost pile. It came up and I let it set seed as my sister wanted some for her garden. It now sprouts regularly all over my garden.

Anyone for some jalepeno cilantro?

Here is a link that might be useful: new pictures of arbor, squash, lavender, etc


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Could be a worse taste, I suppose. The botanical name apparently comes from the Greek word for "bedbug"

Whether it tasted like them or was supposed to repel them I'm not sure, but I don't think ti was a compliment!


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I'm definitely not an expert but I remember reading somewhere that the taste depends on the maturity of the leaves. Does that sound familiar to anyone? I have some flowering now and some new plants a few inches tall...guess I'll do a taste test.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

From the 1985 printing of Joy of Cooking there is a description of coriander. "But few of us know the fresh leaves of this plant ... as the Cilantro of the Caribbean ... where its somewhat fetid odor and taste are much treasured." Cilantro is either loved or hated!

Chervil2


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

:) another person who read this, and said 'yes, it does taste amazingly nasty, doesn't it'

oddly enough, guavas do the same thing to me- they taste like car polish.

cilantro tastes worse than kirby cucumber rinds to me.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

  • Posted by chaman U S east coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 26, 05 at 9:51

Cilantro has strong pungent aroma.It should be used sparingly in food preparations.
Here is the simple recipe using cilantro and cucumber.

1 cup shreded cucumber.( you may remove some water by gently sqeezing)
1 cup yogurt.
1 green pepper, seed removed ( hot or bell pepper to your taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1/4 teaspoon sugar.
Few pinches (try with one or two pinches to begin with)
of mustard seeds flakes.
Few raisins cut into pcs.(or peel the seedless grapes and cut into pcs. )
10 Colantro leaves ( or few more but not two many) cut into pcs.
(cutting leaves will release the aromatic pungent smell)
Mix the ingredients and refrigerate for half hour before using it.
Some adjustment in salt, pepper, sugar,and mustard flakes may be necessary for your kind of taste.
This is known as "Raitu" in Indian sub continent.


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RE: Spelling correctoin.

  • Posted by chaman U S east coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 26, 05 at 9:57

It is Cilantro and not Culantro.


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RE: one more correction

  • Posted by chaman U S east coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 26, 05 at 10:00

It is cilantro.(not colantro or culantro)


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Personally, I prefer to substitute parsley. In my neck of the woods, it can get pretty wet, and summer is short. Cilantro, well, sucks. I prefer my frozen in ice cube tray parsley to anything the store sells. If you want info on how to freeze it, give me a buzz. Or e-mail. kloos@eriecoast.com


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

In some countries, like Peru for example, cilantro is called culantro (colantro for anglo-ears).

Thai soups contain cilantro. The Mexican sauce "pico de gallo" and some guacamole recipes have cilantro as well. The flavor can be overwhelming if not prepared properly and balanced with other ingredients. In cold preparations, I let vinegar soften the flavor a bit.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

  • Posted by chaman U S east coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 29, 05 at 9:51

In Indian subcontinent it is known as Kothmir, Corriander and Hara Dhania.
If you do not like yogurt then use following recipe.
1 Cup finely cut cucumber pcs.
1 Hot or bell pepper (seed removed) cut into small pcs.
Few pinches of salt.
Few pinches of black pepper (poweder).
5 to 10 leaves of cilantro (corriander) cut into pcs.
Mix the ingredients and use it.
You may adjust amount of the spice part to your taste.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Also a quick salad/relish for those of us who LOVE cilantro

2 Cucumbers diced I like mine in good sized chunks
1/4cup onion diced -- smaller chunks & red onion is pretty
1/4cup lemon juice
1/4cup chopped cilantro
sprinkle of salt

mix, let sit at least 15 minutes but not so long the cukes get mushy. This goes great with a curry or mexican dish or even a nice grilled steak. If you only LIKE cilantro cut it back to a few Tbsp.

My favorite Mexican restaurant serves a relish of 2 parts onion one part cilantro to put on your tacos. It gives you heartburn and dragon breath but its so worth it!


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Granite, if your hot cilantro breeds true, you might want to share it in a seed exchange to perpetuate the strain...that sounds very interesting.

I had never heard of hot cilantro before.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I buy cilantro seed by the lb, and grow it year around in those 4" x 4" x 4 ft long plastic "window boxes". It gets that soapy taste when the soil has dried out too much, and can be improved by keeping the soil moist and adding some nitrogen fertilizer of your choice.

The best cilantro I grow is in the winter. It likes cool temps and difuse light, with a rich moist soil very high in nitrogen.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

the cilantro seems to breed true and stay spicy. I haven't let any go to seed this year so far, it takes room in my garden and I just don't use the cilantro (I prefer parsley and I don't eat any hot foods).


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

  • Posted by chaman U S east coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 31, 05 at 17:11

One more recipe:
2 eggs.
One teaspoonful finely choped onions.
1/2 green pepper cut into pcs.(seeds removed)
Few (3 to 5) fine flakes of garlic clove.
Few(3 to 5) fine flakes of ginger.
5 to 10 leaves of Cilantro cut into pcs.
Few pinches of salt.
Empty the eggs in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients to it and mix them well.Use the mixture to prepare the omelet.Use butter to fry the omelet.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Thanks for the recipes, chaman!

My mother loves cilantro more than I do, so I'll pass those along.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Mexican cilantro Eryngium foetidum is sometimes called culantro and is not the same thing as cilantro. It is a substitute for it-slightly soapy taste. Another cilantro substitute is Papalo porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum aka quiquina kind of a cilantro/pepper flavor. Both are tender perennials ie don't die after flowering and don't alter their flavor when flowering. Neither tastes exactly like the real thing so substituting has to be done on a trial by trial basis.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Hello herb forum. This is my first visit, and when I saw this post I just had to reply.
I work at a nursery and we grow, Cilantro, Culantro, and Papalo. I can't even stand to plant the stuff, let alone eat it. As a matter of fact, once when we were planting up seedlings, I thought I would pull a fast one on a new employee. I handed her the Cilantro seedlings to plant, and figured I would enjoy the show when she got a whiff of the stuff. It was good for a chuckle, but I guess fate got back at me. The next herb on the list was Coriander, which by the way, smells exactly like Cilantro! That will teach me to mess with the newbies!:)
I did want to bring up the fact that I don't think that Cilantro and Culantro are the same plant. They have very different leaves. I am not an herb expert, but we do grow a pretty big variety, so I have been exposed to a lot of different herbs. Here is a link to a picture of Culantro, and you can see how different it is from Cilantro.
Hope you don't mind a visitor putting in her two cents.

Lori

Here is a link that might be useful: Culantro


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I'm a visitor too, Lori. :-)

Coriander IS cilantro. "Coriander" usually refers to the seeds, and "cilantro" to the leaves, but they are different names for the same plant. Since I've been spending a lot of time in Albuquerque, I've gotten well acquainted with cilantro, and I really love it. I think it has a citrusy taste.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Greenlady, no wonder they have the same "interesting" smell! Thanks for the info. It's strange how you either love this herb, or hate it.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

A friend of mine, when she was a little girl in 4-H, planted some coriander in her 4-H garden because she thought it looked pretty. Her mother thought it smelled so bad that she made her dig it all up and bury it. It's definitely a yes or no herb. I don't know anybody who says they can take it or leave it.

Same friend makes a salad with chickpeas (garbanzos/ ceci), chopped radishes, chopped green onions and lots of cilantro. Plain olive oil and lemon juice dressing. If you like cilantro it is to die for. If not .... don't come to supper when she has it on the menu, LOL!


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I work for a nursery, too, and we carry another "cilantro substitute" called Vietnamese Coriander (Polygonium odoratum). It's a tender perennial for us, needs to come indoors in the winter but makes a tolerable houseplant. Has a trailing habit, interesting markings on the leaves, and tastes somewhat like cilantro. One nice thing about it is that it holds its flavor when dried, unlike the real thing.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I was in the local ethnic fruit market this week. I wanted what I thought was Cilantro, which my husband likes as a salad with tomatoes and a little lemon juice. On the signs above the vegetable displays I saw written both Cilantro and Coriander. I wondered at the time if they were two separate things. From the display I couldn't tell; plus they were side by side with flat-leaf parsley and some other greens.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Hi everyone! I'm new to the site and I just stumbled in. Weird thing about me is that I both love and hate cilantro depending on how the dish is prepared. Here is a link to a great pico de gallo (molcajete). You eat it like a salsa with tortilla chips. I like the chunky version at the end because it tastes better and it's easier to make.

Here is a link that might be useful: pico de gallo


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I have found the taste changes a lot depending if it was grown in cool or hot weather, cool gives classic cilantro flaovr hot gives soemthing weird.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

cilantro *always* tastes nasty to me - like soap. Buy it in the grocery store, grow it myself, in restaurant food, all of it tastes that way. I wonder if it's something genetic, like how people react to different types of pepers?


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I think it's one of those "matter of taste" herbs. Some people love it and others can't stand it. The Food Network is always raving about it, mostly using it as a garnish, sometimes in a marinade.

I can tell you this...it's cousin...Culantro....is AWFUL! I had a new plant and was pruning it while still young to encourage growth and the smell was insecticidal. I couldn't get the smell off my hands!!! Hot water, antibacterial soap, still there. I finally went out into the garden and got some rosemary and rubbed on it and it went away.

Don't like Culantro. Can't imagine people would put this herb in their food!!!! It WAS going to be on my list of indoor kitcken herbs for the winter, but no longer.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Just wanted to add that I love the taste of supermarket cilantro and I grew a variety last year that had the same taste, but the plant I bought this year tasted awful! It had that soapy taste I had heard about and it had a little red tinge to it also, so I think it may have not been the "right" type. Kind of upset me that I paid for a plant that was so horrible!


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I read that once Cilantro begins to flower it has a bitter, off, taste and should just be used for the coriander. Is your's flowering?


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Here's my two cents worth about cilantro. It's an aquired taste. I used to hate it, now I love it. I also love to grow it, but only in the spring and fall. It just bolts so fast in hot weather that you barely have time to use it. I try to time my fall crop with tomatoes ripening. Where I live they ripen in Sept.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

This reminds me of a genetics class I took in college - the professor put out a dish of white powder and gave us each a toothpick. We were warned to only take a very small amount of the white powder and taste it. The powder was PTC, which some people can't taste at all. But to the rest of us, it was so bad that it can make you feel sick. Some kids had to run to the bathroom.

I also do not like the taste of cilantro, although dried coriander doesn't bother me at all. My kids love cilantro.

Here is a link for the cilantro-haters (including a simple study that tried, not successfully, to establish a possible genetic link between PTC and cilantro aversion).

Here is a link that might be useful: I hate Cilantro! Web site


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I'm glad to know that it tastes horrible to other people too. LOL, I checked out the website listed, I hate Cilantro and saw what I thought...it taste like rotten meat. I threw out a dozen empanados one time because the cilantro ruined them. I will never use it again!! I love cumen though. :-)


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

To each, his own. There's no accounting for taste...(shall I go on.)


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

You guys! Store bought cilantro is nasty, especially the small leaf version of it. Now Mwxican cilantro with it's long leaves, and used in proper proportion, gives foods and salads a tangy taste. I love using it on Pico de Gallo. 2 or 3 leaves max doe the job for a quart of Pico. Too much would be too overpowering which is probably what many of you are doing. It's just like any other seasoning...too much and you ruin the dish. Try chopping one tomato, one onion, 2-3 leaves of cilantro, 2-3 jalapenos, a little salt and pepper, and one lemon. Thouroughly mix and voila! Bon appetit! My recipe.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

A further wrinkle on nomenclature. The term Cilantro is not used at all in the UK as far as I know. We talk only about coriander, whether seeds or fresh leaves. The many Indian and other Asian restaurants and shops here always list it as coriander.

I first met Eryngium foetidum in Guadaloupe, where it was called Herbe a fer. The taste was very similar to coriander.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

To some, cilantro can taste like soap, if eaten alone, by itself. Added to other flavors like salsa or some Thai foods, its great. I had an odd encounter with cilantro, however. Used it along with bean sprouts and the combination wasn't very tasty, especially after also adding a litte MSG to the dish. Usually if you wait a single day, and then use the cilantro, its flavor tames down quite well.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I love cilantro and grow it through the cooler months... but for a substitute, I use lovage. It has more of a 'celery' taste, and might be good for those that hate cilantro. Pico de gallo needs a lot of green stuff!

Lovage has a long season, needs basically no care, and comes back every year. Just an idea. People keep stealing my cilantro.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Cilantro like spinach are both cool weather plants. Here in Quebec planting is early spring and late summer. Cilantro is the leaf and corinder is the seed, both eatable. It is one of the most wonderful herbs there is. I was introduced to mexican cilantro and fell in love with it. To promote bigger leaves, I pinch off the flower stems. I use it in salsa, dipping sauces for roast pork and even add it to pea soup etc. and it is a favourite among family and friends. I grow as much as I can for freezing because the winter months bring higher prices and little supply. I am interested in Papalo but have no idea where to get the seed. Maybe someone in the forum can help.
The soapy taste comes from too much or using culantro.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible! and papalo

I love cilantro and have just bought some culantro plants as I read that they were better for freezing/drying and held taste better than cilantro. However I am also going to try to grow cilantro inside as container plants. I would appreciate any advice on the growing of both inside. The last few times in the store, the cilantro had NO taste, NO aroma. disgusting. Penny, i just bought Papalo seeds from Johnny"s seeds.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Well, I definitely know what you mean by that soapy taste.
For years I would go to certain Mexican restaurants and think that they had not rinsed the soap fully out of their salsa containers. It's some weird interaction with folks' unique chemistry--some don't experience the "soapy" effect, and others do.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I had a similar experience this year.I planted a store bought seed package and cilantro tasted great. Then I thought I would I plant a bunch of cilantro and used the corriander seeds. The plants that came out were little clovers and some tasted like soap. The seed stock is very important I guess. We will see, I dried and saved some seeds for the heck of it. This is my first year with my own garden.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

When I was learning to cook Mexican food, I was taught that cilantro has two distinct types of leaves and the only ones that are considered usable are the first ones that show up. Once the second type leaf appears, the plant should be considered no longer edible. I can't really testify to this personally since I'm quite allergic to the stuff so I don't even attempt to eat it. I have to wear rubber gloves to handle it and put up with the red eyes and drippy nose from breathing the aroma.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

Granite - I'm a Botanist. I'm pretty sure that is NOT cilantro that is hot. You must have mistaken some other plant for it. And be very careful because there are extremely toxic plants in the family (Parsley Family/ Apiaciae). You are probably eating a mustard family plant like a cress or mustard (from mustard seed that you also composted?). I also keep sprouting seeds with my spices - so it could be another plant from that family like radish, if you also keep some of those seeds around. See if when it flowers it forms an umbel (like an umbrella) with the flowers in the ends of the 'spokes'. If so it's in the parsley family - but then photograph it and post it. If it does not flower (from a Spring sprout) - it's not cilantro either, as cilantro bolts very easily.

Also - The cilantro I buy is often without nearly any flavor. When I grow it, it has lots. Some people think it's soapy - but in reality it's not soap, but the fragrances that are often put in dish soap, especially a popular one that is green. I can't stand scented dish soap so use unscented (though it slightly smells of the citrus oils they use as grease cutters). I don't think cilantro is soap-like myself, though it is very understandable. Cilantro also tastes very differently once it starts to produce flowers. It's often referred to as smelling of fleas - though human fleas are not at all common anymore so I have no idea (human fleas are a different species than the common cat or dog flea)! I still like it then, but it's not like the plant before that stage - and that may be more soap-like to some. Then the green seeds have another aroma, which then changes onces they are dry. So it's quite a unique plant. I did not like it at all when I grew it in our family garden when I was about 16 (years and years ago). Now I love it.


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

The real Cilantro is something I love! Everybody's tastes are different and some don't like it. But I use both fresh green Cilanto and Coriander (the seeds, ground up). Certain dishes are just so much better with Cilantro! Even in potato salad...yummy!


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RE: Cilantro tastes horrible!

I am one who doesn't like the taste of the leaves. But I use the cracked dry seed (called coriander) almost every day... YUMMY in breads, anything you want a nice flavor, reminiscent of lemon. My cilantro volunteers all over my no dig garden, and the little pollinators go APE over it. Flowers are pretty.


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