Cilantro, The Polarizing Herb

Do you prefer salt or sugar on your tomato? Do you pronounce the ever-popular and versatile spud as po-tay-to or po-tah-to? Taking sides in these playful stand-offs makes for friendly disagreement but if you really want to stir things up in the produce world, take a stance on the most hotly contested herb out there - cilantro! Do you love or hate Cilantro?

Cilantro - Bright, Citrusy Friend With Worldwide Appeal

For many cultures around the world, cilantro is an essential herb when it comes to cooking. African, Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Thai cuisines all incorporate cilantro to add a flavorful pop to recipes. Its distinct and bright citrus aroma has hints of lemon undertones. Sometimes confused with coriander, cilantro is derived from the same plant - cilantro is the leaves of the Coriandrum sativum plant and coriander is ground from the seeds, stalks, and flowers of the same plant.

Cilantro - Soapy-Scented Foe 

As well-loved as this flavorful herb can be by many, there are those who just are not fans. For some, cilantro puts off a pungent, soapy aroma. As scent has such a powerful connection to taste, it’s not an ideal combination! But the distaste for cilantro often isn’t just a personal preference, there is a genetic basis for this aversion. 

Cilantro contains an organic material called aldehyde which possesses a distinct chemical structure. Some people have a gene that makes them very sensitive to the aldehyde in cilantro and relate it to that soapy scent. One study noted a very specific genetic link near the olfactory center of DNA in about 10% of those with cilantro aversion.

It’s Never Too Late To Change

Just because you may be slightly predisposed to not love cilantro at first smell doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to, in time, enjoy this crisp herb. Crushing cilantro before cooking can help to lessen the perceived soapy scent. You never know, it may be the perfect complement to your custom scented candle, hand soap, or lotion! 

Repeated exposure may be just the trick and considering all the benefits of cilantro below may also encourage your senses to welcome this leafy herb:

  • Natural diuretic
  • Fights nausea
  • Source of iron, magnesium, and manganese
  • Natural Antioxidant

If you’re up for the challenge, visit us at Urban Wick Candle Bar and see where you fall in the “Great Cilantro Debate” by sampling our Cilantro scent when you visit our Fragrance Wall for your next custom scent blend. Whether you view this fragrant herb as an aromatic treasure to be savored or one with a unique soapy quality, the choice is yours. Now as for the po-tay-to… that's a different story! 

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