Ina Garten Shares the One Ingredient You’ll Never Find in Her Cookbooks

updated May 30, 2019
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Ina Garten, empress of the kitchen, is the author of 10 cookbooks which have sold millions of copies over the years. From the best roast chicken to airy pavlovas, all of Ina’s recipes tell the same story: Good food brings people together. Armed with her cookbooks, you can figure out what to make for a simple weeknight dinner to a more elaborate gathering of friends.

But there’s one thing you definitely won’t find in any of her books: It turns out that Ina has very strong opinions about a certain controversial ingredient. In a recent interview on Vice’s podcast “Munchies,” Ina explains the ingredient you’ll never find in her cookbooks.

“Is there anything you absolutely hate that you will never find in one of your cookbooks?” Helen Hollyman, editor-in-chief of Munchies, asked Ina towards the end of a two-part interview.

Before Hollyman could even finish her question, Ina says, “Cilantro. Hate it. I know people love it, and you can add it to the recipe, I just hate it. To me it’s so strong and it actually tastes like soap to me, but it’s so strong it overpowers every other flavor,” She goes on to explain that she likes ingredients that provide balance in a meal. “I like something that’s kind of interestingly flavored, but as you eat it you get the layers, you know, the strawberries, a little zest of orange, a little sweetness, a little yogurt. You get all of those of those flavors in a balance. But when cilantro is in something, that’s all I can taste. Everything else goes away.”

Those are some serious fighting words, Ina. Remind me to never add cilantro to my guacamole when I host you at my imaginary dinner party that’s totally going to happen one day.

For some people, as Garten mentions, cilantro simply tastes like soap. For others, there’s a “dead taste” to the herb. Either way, a recent study revealed that this aversion to cilantro is actually in your genes. Apparently this impacts anywhere between four to 14 percent of the population.

Listen to the podcast:

Do you have any strong feelings about cilantro? Let us know in the comments!