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Many people are genetically predisposed to hate cilantro.


If you’ve got a particular dislike for cilantro, it looks like you now have something to blame it on besides a picky taste in food- your DNA. You wouldn’t be alone in your dislike of cilantro either. Even Julia Child hated it. So how do genetics determine your love or hate of cilantro? Here's how researchers found this out.  

To verify that genetics play a role, neuroscientist Charles J. Wysocki determined that identical twins typically have the same feelings on the leaf. In school, did your Biology or Anatomy teacher ever have you do a genetics lab where you see if you can smell or taste certain things? That same principle is what affects how much people like cilantro. 

Wysocki essentially heated up some cilantro. First, the “soapy” smell that people hate came out. After, the pleasant “herb” smell came out, but only those who liked cilantro could smell it. Wysocki hypothesizes that it’s because of either a mutated gene or a missing receptor gene, like in the case of people who can’t smell flowers. 

Though he says it’s still speculative, the idea that a dislike of cilantro is something to blame on genetics should be good news for those chastised for it. So the next time someone raises an eyebrow at your dislike of cilantro, you can feel free to bust out Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” 

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