Cilantro, the pungent leaves and stalks of the coriander plant, is among the most divisive of kitchen herbs. Though loved by many, its taste is repugnant to others. This is because some 10% of people have a gene that makes cilantro taste 'soapy.' Like it or hate it, this distinctive aromatic is prolific in many cuisines. Integral to Mexican cooking and an essential component in Indian, Southeast Asian and East Asian food, cilantro (coriander) has a fresh, citrusy flavor. It is often blended in spice pastes and marinades – roots, stalks and all – thrown into curries and stirfries near the end of cooking, and added to salads and salsas.