The Tyranny of Cilantro

Being a great fan of nearly every kind of salsa and guacamole, I have to admit that I am not at all a lover of cilantro, that noxious and foul weed that crops up in every kind of Hispanic dish as though it was indigenous or somehow even wanted.

It is not.  I don’t know anyone in my circle who actually likes the stuff, even if you declare it the herb of the year.  I tastes like crap, and spoils the taste of every food you add it into.

Which is why I am especially peeved at the legion of no-talent, hack, self-appointed chefs who somehow feel it necessary to add cilantro to all of their dishes.  Because it is somehow trendy and cool, if inedible.

If you are a chef who adds cilantro to your dishes, you are admitting that you do not know how to prepare food that is naturally appetizing and interesting.  Instead, you hide the flavor of the [beef, pork, salad, chicken, rice or other dish] behind the noxious weed, hoping that your fellow chefs will congratulate you instead of laughing behind your back.

We have been down this road before.  Remember when every chef in America decided that their food would be so insanely hot with chili peppers that you would not notice that they didn’t know how to cook?  Thousands of “Thai” restaurants opened and closed cashing in on the bizarre idea that Americans wanted peppers so hot they went into coronary arrest.  I still have friends who think this is good food.

And how about that “blackened” thing, that gave chefs an excuse for burned food?

The truth is, I hate cilantro, and don’t know anyone who actually likes the stuff.  Which is why, on a recent vacation, I went to restaurants that offered nothing I could eat except French Fries.  The salads had cilantro.  The soups had cilantro.  So did the meats, and the side dishes.  Thank God for good Irish potatoes.

So here is a hint, little cheflings.  If the best you can do is add noxious weeds to your dishes to hide their flavor, please take up welding instead.  Or plumbing.  Because I am immensely tired of eating the crap you foist on customer as haute cuisine.

Cilantro chief on my list.




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