Monday, May 30, 2011

Hawaiian Food. And Why I Don't Eat Mexican.

As I've mentioned - I love Maui.  I've been trying to pin point what I liked best, but it's basically impossible on account of everything about that place is unbelievably awesome.  So rather than picking a favorite, I'll just talk about food.

We went to a lot of restaurants while we were there.  I had so much incredible pineapple and coconut it was like a dream come true.  I had pulled pork and fresh mahi mahi and umbrella drinks out the wazoo!

There was one restaurant that we kept walking past on our way to other restaurants.  For some reason my boyfriend didn't want to eat there and we ended up walking right past it most days.  I don't know why he didn't seem interested because the whole premise of the place is that you take your seat on the patio and instead of having concrete or tile or something on the ground, there is soft white Hawaiian sand under your feet.  I mean - what a great idea! 

Eventually I convinced my boyfriend to take me there.  And let me first say that the whole sand thing turned out not to be as awesome as I'd thought.  Don't get me wrong, it was still a whole lot of fun but it made the tables and chairs all wobbly and I don't think the waitresses looked very stable either.

But that would all have been forgivable if it weren't for one tiny detail:

That's right.  Every dish had cilantro in it.  Even the ones that didn't explicitly state that they were full of cilantro were just laden with the stuff.  And this happens every once in a while.  You sit down at a restaurant unknowingly subjecting yourself to the whims of some crazy chef who thinks that cilantro is the new basil or oregano or rosemary or any number of fresh herbs that don't taste like feet and now your meal is ruined.

And you know, I'm not generally a picky eater.  In fact, I've spent most of the last 10 years of my life learning to like foods I would previously have turned my nose up at.  I love mushrooms now when I used to think eating one was like chewing on a rubber tire.  And after years of telling fast food cashiers "No pickles and mustard" I actually enjoy pickles now and will pick them off my friends' burgers and add them to my own.  And a nice Dijon is quite pleasant - although I'm still working on that bright yellow stuff.

But cilantro I can't even tolerate.  Can't even choke it down.  And never mind trying to pick it off.  That stuff lingers!

For years I thought I hated Mexican food.  Every time I ate at a Mexican place I would leave dumbfounded.  Meat and cheese and lettuce and tomatoes, wrap it up and sprinkle with hot sauce - how can you go wrong?  How could I possibly not like Mexican food?  What is going on!?  Many years later I was able to make the connection between the vile little green weed and that horrible taste and I haven't been to a Mexican restaurant since.

And I know I'm not alone either.  It turns out cilantro is just one of those things - one of those flavors that some people love, others don't really notice and the rest of us gag over.

Just ask these guys:


  1. I hear ya - especially in terms of places not listing cilantro on the menu items' descriptions. The stuff is just so overpowering!

  2. I can see how that is frustrating. I LOVE cilantro and always have (used to eat right out of the garden as a kid-I know-sorry). I would totally eat any of the cilantro you didn't want. Your trip sounds amazing, besides the cilantro incident.

  3. Haha that's so funny - you're probably the first person I've actually met that "loves" cilantro. Everyone else I know either hates it like me or is sort of indifferent. I don't know what it is about this particular herb but I just can't stand it. I like coriander just fine and they come from the same plant. The worst part is being made to seem like a picky eater because of it when I'm really not picky at all. Haha. Oh well! Homemade Mexican food is better anyway.

  4. I love cilantro! But we actually call it coriander, if you know what I mean. No coriander in the house = No yummy smells in the house :) I'm really sorry, by the way.

  5. Oh yeah. Apparently coriander and cilantro are from the same plant. I guess depending on where in the world you are it can have different names - but as far as I learned, coriander is the seeds and cilantro is the leaves. And I actually like coriander. They taste completely different! Go figure.