Cilantro may be one of the most polarizing herbs. Now, there is a service offered by DNA testing company 23AndMe that will test your genetics to see whether you are predisposed to hate the ingredient.
The controversial plant is commonly used in South Asian and Latin American cuisine, and is either hailed as bright and refreshing by those who love it or described as soapy or dirty to those who don’t.
Since 2012, scientists have been testing the idea of genetics as responsible for the enjoyment of the herbaceous add-in.
According to a study conducted by 23AndMe, there is a correlation between people who dislike cilantro’s taste and one’s ethnic background, with Ashkenazi Jews, northern Europeans and southern Europeans most likely to describe cilantro’s taste as soapy, My Recipes reported.
Cornell University conducted its own study on more than 14,000 participants and traced the preference of cilantro to an olfactory receptor gene “OR6A2,” which is targeted as the receptor that may contribute to the detection of a soapy smell and taste from cilantro. The genetic variants in the olfactory receptors are now thought to be the reason behind those that dislike the herb.
So for those who can’t enjoy Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice because of the soapy taste, your ancestors may be to blame.