Last weekend I was attending Feables, convention dedicated to TV series Lost Girl and Once Upon A Time. I stayed at a nearby hotel, about 5 minutes walk from the venue. The room was clean, the air-conditioning unit didn’t kicked in as soon I walked in (that is a good thing, I live in Britain not Brazil), the bed was comfortable and I could even open the window! The view wasn’t much but you can’t expect postcard scenery when you are booked so close to the airport. Ok, the twice needed reboot of electricity was annoying but overall it was a pleasant stay.
The hotel’s restaurant was small-ish but with reasonable menu and I chose the Rustic Waldorf salad for dinner. The presentation of the dish was beautiful, with thinly sliced apples arranged into a flower on the top of the green leaves smothered in vinaigrette (the traditional recipe has mayonnaise – but I didn’t mind that too much as I’ll take vinaigrette over mayo any day). But then I saw it. The green ragged leaves of what at that stage I was desperately hoping to be parsley only to be devastated to find out that it wasn’t. Waldorf salad is not supposed to contain coriander. Definitely not one that is claiming to be rustic. The recipe is simple – apples, celery, walnuts, salad leaves. Coriander is not a salad leaf. Coriander is a herb. A vile one. If I say that I hate coriander with passion, that would be an understatement. I commenced a food autopsy. The viscous herb made a quarter of the greens and the cute apple flower actually represented the only apples in the salad. I wanted to cry. At least the walnuts were plentiful. I left hungry, angry and disappointed (also fully refunded with a free drink but that’s not the point).
After this traumatic experience I was avoiding the restaurant the next day but decided to give it another try the day after. I was playing it safe and ordered a hamburger. Again, the presentation was beautiful and I was mentally prepared not to bother myself with the side salad full of coriander. I don’t eat burgers as a normal person. I always remove the top bun and leave it on the side. I also use cutlery to eat it. Which is strange as I eat almost everything else (that isn’t runny or would make me look like a Homo neanderthalensis) with my fingers. The third semi-chewed mouthful ended up in a napkin when the overwhelmingly foul flavour of coriander assaulted my taste buds. Seriously, what mad chef would put coriander in a burger?
I think I am a reasonable person. I know how very much I dislike the herb. I do not eat most of Thai or Vietnamese dishes for this reason and when dining out in my favourite Indian restaurant, I obsessively request that no fresh coriander is to be present in any of the meals. However it seems that the coriander invasion is out of control now and something needs to be done about it.
Something also needs to be done about child abuse. Would you help by donating to NSPCC?