How’s this for a mantra: What would Julia do?
If you’re a fan of Julia Child, you probably don’t need me to explain to you why you are. You probably like her easy camera presence, her unpretentious instruction of classic French technique, her contagious lust for life, her general bad-assness, and, if your like me, her unapologetic liberal politics and unique brand of feminism. Truly, she was a magical woman so nearly unanimously revered in the culinary and general American communities, I’d have to wonder if you were a heartless freak not liking her.
What you might not know is that Julia Child hated cilantro; an excerpt from a Larry King interview transcript:
KING: A little bit. Any food you hate?
CHILD: Well, badly cooked food…
KING: I know that. But any – for example, George Bush and yours truly, I don’t want to couple it together, hate broccoli, hate it, wouldn’t go near it, wouldn’t touch it, what do you hate?
CHILD: I don’t like cilantro.
KING: What is that?
CHILD: It’s an herb that it has a kind of a taste that I don’t like.
KING: Is there an everyday food you hate, like broccoli?
CHILD: No, I don’t think so. I mean, if it’s properly cooked and properly served, I can’t think of anything I hate.
KING: So you’ll eat…
CHILD: Except cilantro and arugula I don’t like at all.
CHILD: They’re both green herbs, they have kind of a dead taste to me.
KING: So you would never order it.
CHILD: Never, I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor.
Arugula, I like, but someone running the I Hate Arugula blog (doesn’t exist) can use that piece of trivia. It’s the cilantro I’m concerned with. I like how she describes the taste of cilantro as “dead.” That’s a much stronger descriptor than say, soapy. “Well, why don’t you like it?” “It tastes dead.” That’s a pretty good reason not to like something in my book. Hilarious. Another reason to love Julia: girlfriend was funny.
I think Julia Child hating cilantro sort of speaks for itself, so I’ll be brief today. But I can tell you this, in the spirit of doing as Julia would do, the next time I encounter unexpected cilantro, I will pick it out, throw it on the floor and smile, thinking of Julia doing the same.