Some people adore the smell of cilantro. Others abhor it, with an instinctive reaction bordering on a drop-kick. Some people optimistically grow it on their windowsill. The Publix produce manager at my local store recently told me to give up on that, when I brought back the “live” cilantro pot that expired in two days on my own sunny sill.
So: Why do some people react so negatively to cilantro while others appreciate it? The New York Times seems to have solved that mystery. Some people have an old, old gene that reacts badly to a chemical compound in cilantro because it’s common to insects that can be harmful to humans.
Luckily, I overcame that gene (I am pretty sure I have it) and can appreciate the wonderful, fresh complexity — snap, say — this plant gives salsa and other recipes.
Was it possible to overcome the windowsill-growing prohibition, too?
Why, yes! I got a replacement plant, watered it every so often and left it in a sunny East-facing window and it provided handfuls of fragrant green leaves. And, it still hasn’t gone to seed. It’s Thai-d with Thai Basil for healthiest plant I’ve grown indoors.