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Cilantro Preferences May Be Genetic

For every cilantro lover who basks in the bright, citrusy flavor of the herb, there's an equal and opposite voice that denounces its soapy, overly floral scent and taste. So why is cilantro (and not, parsley, oregano, or sage) so polarizing? At least one scientist believes that preference for cilantro may be a genetic trait.

Behavioral neurologist Charles J. Wysocki studied identical and fraternal twins' preferences for the herb and found that while more than 80 percent of the identical twins gave similar ratings on the "pleasantness" of cilantro, only 42 percent of the fraternal twins had like assessments. He also believes that disgust for cilantro comes from its odor, rather than its taste.

Wysocki cautioned that he hasn't run enough analysis of data to come to a firm conclusion, but this finding could explain a lot of things. After all, the Internet is rampant with anticilantro communities, from websites like I Hate Cilantro to opposition groups on Facebook, and even Julia Child wouldn't touch cilantro. What do you think of Wysocki's biological theory?


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