The fruits, leaves and stems of coriander have been used in food for around four thousand years – in Roman, Chinese, Thai, Mexican and Indian cuisine. The seeds of the coriander plant, for example, are an important ingredient in a variety of Indian dishes and no Tex-Mex salsa is complete without the aromatic coriander leaf in its blend, explains expert Dr. Neha Vyas of the Cleveland Clinic.
Why people evaluate the coriander taste so differently and what the health benefits of coriander are is explained in a recent article from the Cleveland Clinic. While genes seem to play a role in taste perception, the good news is that even people who detest coriander can learn to appreciate it over time.
Coriander is used in many ways, not only in Asian cuisine. However, its taste divides the minds. While some people appreciate coriander as a particularly tasty ingredient, others cannot tolerate even small pieces of coriander in their food.
Some have a coriander aversion
Why does coriander taste like soap to many people?
However, some people find the aroma or taste of coriander extremely unpleasant. Some say that coriander tastes like soap or like dead insects. “It may surprise you to learn that those who do not like coriander have a gene that increases the amount of aldehyde in coriander, which recognizes the aldehyde content of coriander as a soapy smell and taste,” says Dr. Vyas.
Some people have a gene that makes them hypersensitive to the aldehyde component found in coriander and other foods and products. For example, a 2012 study showed that about 10 percent of people with coriander aversion have a very specific genetic link near the olfactory center of the DNA, Dr. Vyas said.
Coriander an important food ingredient worldwide
Even more interesting is that according to the study, women tend to perceive a soapy taste and do not like coriander, Dr. Vyas continued. In addition, African Americans, Latinos, East and South Asians are significantly less likely to perceive a soapy taste of coriander compared to Europeans.
But it is also known that, unlike other fixed genetic traits such as eye or hair color, coriander preference can be altered by environmental factors. Over time, as your brain processes new experiences with positive sensory exposures involving coriander, even the most extreme aversion to coriander can be transformed into favors, the expert points out.
For example, sharing a pleasant meal with family and friends can actually change your brain’s perception of certain foods such as coriander and allow you to change negative associations with coriander, the expert explains.
In addition to these benefits, coriander usually gives dishes a fresh, lemon-like taste that, with a little training, can be effective even if you have an original aversion to coriander. (fp)
“One day you could literally switch from complete displeasure to true love,” Dr. Vyas said. And there are numerous health benefits that speak for coriander. “Coriander has many properties that make it worthwhile to overcome any aversion to it,” stresses the expert, citing a few examples. Coriander
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