It turns out there's a scientific reason why you hate coriander so darn much.

There are two distinct camps when it comes to food-loving folk: those who love coriander and want to put it on everything, and those who look a little like this when they see that fateful sprig of green on their plates:


For millenniums years, people have wondered just what it is about the herb – also called cilantro or Chinese parsley – that turns so many people off.

Now, thanks to ~~science~~ we finally have the answer.

According to Professor Russell Keast, a specialist in sensory and food science at Victoria’s Deakin University, we have our parents to blame.

“We have smell receptors in our nose that are responsible for identifying volatile compounds in the atmosphere, including volatile compounds released from potential foods,” Professor Keast said.

“Sense of smell is highly variable between people, so what I experience may not be what you experience, and this can be due to quantity, type and natural variations with smell receptors.”

That means that for some people, coriander tastes like pure bliss, and for others, it’s a soapy nightmare.



A coriander hatred may also be caused by a lack of being exposed to different flavours while growing up.

For some families, coriander is a household, dinner-time staple whereas for others, it’s filed in the ‘new and unusual flavour’ folder.

“This is common to different cultures, or flavour principles of a region,” Professor Keast said.

“For example, many Australians have problems with the intensity of fish sauce, yet South-East Asian populations find it an integral part of their flavouring.”

coriander hate yuck
Image via Getty.

Unfortunately, though, repeated exposure to a flavour may not necessarily mean you'll be singing coriander's praises in no time.

"If somebody has the genetic receptor variant and is experiencing high levels of bitterness, having repeated exposure to that food isn't necessarily going to teach the liking of that food," Keast said.

So if you're a staunch member of the 'I Hate Coriander' club, it's probably best if you just stick to parsley.

Listen to the full episode of the latest Mamamia Out Loud here: