Ah, coriander. Who’d have thought a herb grown to add flavour to some of our favourite dishes could be so divisive?
Well, forget Brexit, because coriander is splitting the nation more than Boris Johnson covered in Marmite ever could, and haters are rallying in their thousands to come against ingredient.
To be specific, more than 230,000 people have gathered in a Facebook community aptly called ‘I Hate Coriander’ to share their hatred for the herb and numbers are continuing to grow.
Now, just so we’re being honest, I’m not one of these people.
I personally wouldn’t be able to eat a lamb curry without a generous dashing of fresh coriander sprinkled on the top and I don’t care who knows it.
While my weekly shop to ASDA wouldn’t be complete without an order of the fresh herb, and find myself firmly in the coriander lovers section of society, others have compared its taste to that of devil spawn and actual soap.
In fact, the I Hate Coriander Facebook group is full to the brim with people slandering the leafy herb, from hateful memes to a ‘f*ck coriander’ tattoo. I mean, seriously, it’s a herb guys.
Nevertheless, the group created by Sydney native Jack Baily has amassed an impressive following of fellow haters and now it even sells coriander loathing merch to go with it.
Items from the collection include tees (costing $29.95, £16.50), hoodies ($44.95, £24.78), vinyl stickers ($10, £5.51) and bottle openers ($6.95, £3.85).
If nothing else, the group proves that coriander is officially the new Marmite, and whether you love it or hate it could actually be down to your genetics rather than your taste.
23andMe, the largest genetic testing company, carried out a survey of 50,000 people, in which they asked people whether they liked the taste of the ingredient, or whether they found it soapy.
When comparing the DNA of coriander haters to coriander lovers, the researchers found a gene thought to be associated with those than found it soapy-tasting.
The report said:
Cilantro’s aromatic qualities primarily depend on a group of compounds known as aldehydes.
One type of aldehyde has been described as being ‘fruity’ and ‘green’ and another type as being ‘soapy’ and ‘pungent’.
One of the eight genes near the SNP we identified codes for a receptor called OR6A2, which is known to detect aldehydes such as those found in cilantro.
In simple terms, you don’t get to choose whether you enjoy the taste of coriander, it’s simply down to genetics.
I didn’t choose the coriander life, the coriander life chose me.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.