Why do some people think cilantro tastes like soap?

Toddler with sprig of cilantro in her mouth.

Cilantro is one divisive herb: People either love it or hate it. Julia Child disavowed the stuff, claiming it had a soapy taste in 1955 — and the comparison stuck. Between 3% and 21% of people, depending on their location in the world, dislike cilantro for its soapiness. But how can people have such vastly different sensations from the same herb?

Genetics plays a major role, it turns out.

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