Cilantro: A Polarizing Herb

I love combining strong, flavorful cheese with tart apple slices.

Apple + Cheese

What a winning combination!

Today’s lunch featured a Granny Smith apple and Muenster cheese sandwich that I enjoyed along with leftover roasted asparagus.

Salty + Sweet + Tart


The leftover asparagus was oh-so-tasty!

I know I’ve touched on the asparagus and stinky pee connection previously, but did you know that cilantro is another one of those funky foods that affects people differently?

According to The New York Times, the herb tastes like soap to some people. These people, according to studies conducted by Charles J. Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, “may be genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro.”

Interesting, huh?

Let’s Get To Know Each Other A Little Better…

So tell me…

  • Does asparagus make your pee stink?
  • Do you hate cilantro?

59 Responses

  1. Asparagus definitely makes my tinkle stink! πŸ™‚ I actually really like cilantro. Or at least I like the meals its in, but I can’t taste a dislike when it touches my tongue. πŸ™‚

  2. Huh, I never knew that about cilantro….I hate cilantro with a passion…I just feel like it overpowers everything it’s in, but I keep trying things with cilantro in them with the hopes that one day I’ll just love it lol. And asparagus definitely makes my pee stink πŸ™‚

  3. that’s really interesting! i love cilantro…so yummy and BRIGHT!

  4. Love cilantro (and haven’t noticed side effects), love asparagus but it does make my pee smell.

  5. haha yes – I know when I’ve eaten asparagus, that’s for sure. And I love love love cilantro. TJs has an amazing cilantro-jalapeno hummus and I just tried their cilantro dressing and it’s incredible. I swear – unless you have the gene that makes it taste like soap. Oh the horror!

  6. Haha this post is so funny. Asparagus does that to me! i read once that it only affects a small amount of the population! Not everyone experiences that! I guess that makes us unique! =)

  7. I hate cilantro! just the thought of it makes me gag!

  8. My Fiance thought I was nuts when I said it tastes like soap and I do not like it. Now I might have to find that article!

  9. YES, asparagus makes me pee smell! My boyfriend and I call it “the effect,” and I get it from even eating the tiniest bite of asparagus. Also, I love cilantro! I love it mixed with black beans, corn, tomatoes, and even on salads with some basil. It’s one of my favorite herbs!

  10. It’s so funny you asked the pee question. I have eaten asparague pretty much every day for about two years now (I have issues)
    Point is…I think my pee became immune to it!
    No joke.


  11. Hahaha!! That so happens to me! All I have to do is eat just one asparagus spear and my pee will stink!! Too funny! And I like cilantro too πŸ˜‰

  12. I haven’t noticed it making my pee stink! and i love cilantro:)

  13. Asparagus doesn’t make my pee stink, but I’VE ALWAYS said that cilantro tastes like soap!!! πŸ˜€
    I finally found out about that genetic thing a few years ago & my Mom & I still laugh about it- because she always thought I was a nut whenever I would tell her that!

  14. I once mentioned in conversation how i love asparagus but hate the pee smell and everyone looked at me like I have 2 heads! That’s when I realized it doesn’t do that to everyone. πŸ™‚ Coffee does the same thing to me.

    Never heard anyone say cilantro tastes like soap, interesting! Now I’ll know why if I ever hear it.

  15. Really? I don’t notice the Asparagus pee issues but I have heard of it.

    I have heard of people saying that they don’t like cilantro because of it vaguely reminds them of soap…now it all makes sense! πŸ™‚

  16. That’s so funny, I JUST showed someone that NYT article today because my friend thought he was the only person in the world that hates cilantro. As for me, I LOVE IT!…well, wait, let me rephrase that. I LOVE foods with cilantro IN them, but I won’t just grab a handful of cilantro and chomp away at it, haha

  17. I love asparagus so I’ve always ignored people when they told me about the pee thing. I’ve never noticed!

    And I know cilantro is a major love/hate herb, but both my mom and I absolutely LOVE it

  18. I have a handful of friends who majorly dislike cilantro, so I always try to keep that in mind when cooking for them. I, on the other hand love it, it’s so fresh and clean tasting…. but not clean as in soapy πŸ™‚

  19. I love cilantro, and asparagus, even if it does make me smell!

  20. Sometimes i forget i ate asparagus until I have to use the restroom! Definitely have that enzyme but I LOVE cilantro! No soap taste there!!

  21. Asparagus definitely makes me pee smell but asparagus is so delish that I could never stay away. πŸ™‚ I’ve also noticed that coffee also makes my pee stink…but again, no one can separate me from my joe.

    I LOVE cilantro. It’s soooo good in Thai, Vietnamese, and Mexican dishes. Mmmm.

  22. yup, I get asparagus pee, but Hubbs doesn’t! Crazy… I didn’t believe him at first πŸ™‚

  23. Hahaha I’ve never heard of asparagus making pee stink! – you learn something new every day! πŸ˜‰ That being said, I don’t think it makes mine stink!

    As for cilantro I wouldn’t say i LOVE it, but i do like it in things like fresh salsa!

  24. interesting discussion πŸ˜‰ Actually I just recently heard on a food radio show that scientists identified the asparagus pee thing to be a SMELLING issue, as opposed to a pee-specific issue (ha)… i.e. most people are genetically inclined to be able to smell the “asparagus pee”, while others simply cannot.

    as for cilantro: I’m not a huge fanatic but I certainly don’t mind it πŸ™‚

  25. My husband loves cilantro. I mean he can eat it straight up. I do not mind it as long as it is not overpowering the dish!

  26. I never knew that about cilantro. I love it! And no, I don’t have a childhood potty mouth complex. It doesn’t taste like soap to me. πŸ˜‰

    Although asparagus does make my pee smell.

  27. I like cilantro. But there’s a fine line between love it and “oh my god there’s way too much cilantro in this”. I feel people often enjoy crossing this line.

  28. I love cilantro… However, I have a funny story. We were at dinner with my fiance’s parents and we were eating this salad his mom had made. His step-dad took a bite and made the most awful face and then spit out the cilantro right there… .saying it tasted like soap! We were all kind of shocked, since he’s a pretty quiet guy usually!

  29. Yes, asparagus makes my pee stink, but it’s oh so yummy! And no, don’t hate cilantro, unless in large amounts and then it’s just too spicy.

  30. I heat cilantro! Especially in guacamole…There’s a mexican restaurant near my house that makes EVERYTHING with cilantro…so whenever I use it at home it reminds me of good eats and makes me smile!

  31. I LOVE cilantro!! But yeah, it’s definitely a love it or hate it thing!

  32. That’s really interesting! I don’t hate cilantro, but I don’t love it either. It definitely tastes great in the right dishes though.

  33. Love asparagus and it does make me have the stink…hate cilantro!

  34. lol…funny you mention cilantro. I actually went to the market this a.m. and picked up the beloved herb. I plan on making some cilantro sauce tonight πŸ™‚ I love the stuff!

  35. Who knew! I love cilantro + asparagus definitely makes my pee smell πŸ™‚ Have a fantastic Wednesday!

  36. I can’t even eat asparagus because of the pee stink! It’s not that I don’t like it, I just get so grossed out by that smell afterward that I avoid it all together.

    I am iffy about cilantro. I tend to like it ok when it’s in things (like salsa), but if it’s the main flavor, it’s not my favorite. I usually sub in parsley if a recipe calls for it.

  37. I hate cilantro! I ate it in my friend’s guacamole and could eat that just fine but anything else (like salsa) with cilantro completely turns me off. To me it tastes like plastic. Blech!

  38. Yes and yes!

  39. I love cilantro…the fresh lemony flavour it adds to dishes.

  40. Yes, asparagus makes my pee stink, too. But, I love it.

    I also love cilantro. I had some last night with turkey tacos. I’ve never heard of the soap thing … interesting.

  41. Yes asparagus has that immediate effect on me. For a long time cilantro tasted like soap and I couldn’t eat salsas at mexican restaurants because of it, but I have grown to accept and like its unique flavor.

  42. i didnt know that about cilantro! i love it, and i love asparagus. bring on the stinky pee! coffee makes your pee smell, too.

  43. i love cilantro! i saw that article too!

  44. I actually heard that about cilantro awhile ago, blows my mind. I LOVE it!

    I have never tested the asparagus, pee thing. So I have no idea!

    I do know that the apple/cheese combo sounds so yummy that I’m super bummed I can’t eat either one! Stupid stomach, learn to digest yummy things!

  45. Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one whose pee stank after eating asparagus. I was so confused! And I love cilantro in quesadillas. Such a small teak with a big difference. Love the combo sandwich…I would have never thought of it!

  46. funny you mention it. I just recently heard that asparagus actually makes EVERYONE’s pee smell. It’s just that some people do NOT have the sensors in their nose to be able to detect it. Interesting, huh?

  47. I’ve never tried cilantro before. Everyone always tells me that asparagus makes your pee stink, but I’ve never experienced that! Is it really, really noticeable? Weird!

  48. thats too funny about cilantro bc I HATE it and so does my mom! i cannot even stand the smell!

  49. I don’t think asparagus makes my pee smell, but then again, I’ve never payed attention to that because this is the first time I hear about such a thing!
    As for cilantro, YUCKKKKKKKKK.
    It’s one of the very few foods I dislike.
    Have a nice day πŸ™‚

  50. I love both asparagus and cilantro. Neither seem to make my pee stink! I think that people either love or hate cilantro..there doesn’t seem to be any in between.

  51. I hate hate hate haaaaate cilantro. Blech. But I love aspargus, regardless of the pee smell πŸ™‚

  52. Yes to the stink. I don’t like to put cilantro in my home-cooked food (with the exception of guacamole). But I DO happen to like it in foods at restaurants. I don’t know why…

  53. I heard that the same soap-tasting gene works for people eating dark chocolate as well!

  54. haha I love asparagus but when I have to pee, YIKES!

    I love cliantro. I’ve gotten pass the soapy taste, I just don’t taste it like that anymore. My mom still can’t stand it.

  55. girl i HATE CILANTRO!!I feel like it tastes like sweat!! like body odor! hahah

  56. I’ve never noticed that my pee stinks any more then normal πŸ˜‰ when I eat aspargus and I LOVE cilantro!!!

  57. That is really interesting about cilantro! I was always baffled why some people didn’t like it. It’s one of my favorite herbs!

    I am super sensitive to the asparagus pee….one bite and I notice the smell. Doesn’t stop me from eating it though πŸ™‚

  58. Asparagus makes my pee smell.

    Beets make my pee pinky/reddish (kinda scary)

    Some vitamins make my pee FLoUro

    and…I love in New Zealand we call it Coriander. Love it, reminds me of Mexico

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