‘It tastes like soap.’ ‘Makes my mouth itch.’ ‘I sneeze every time I eat it!’ Lots of people don’t like cilantro for non-life-threatening reasons. But it turns out, this summer, a real danger may be lurking in those controversial curly leaves: a deadly intestinal parasite called cyclospora cayetanensis. The bug, which is more common in tropical regions and relatively new to the U.S., thrives in unsanitary growing conditions. It causes mostly gastrointestinal symptoms, which then lead to weight loss and fatigue. The FDA has traced most cyclospora outbreaks to cilantro originating in the Mexican state of Puebla, and has banned imports from that region. But if you love the soapy herb, better safe than sorry: experiment with cooking cilantro rather than eating it raw, since cyclospora is notoriously difficult to wash off. Or better yet, grow your own. Do you have any good substitutes for cilantro? Share recipes and tips in the comments.
Haters Have Another Reason to Scorn Cilantro: Parasitic Outbreak
April 18, 2017