It is pretty widely known that cilantro tastes bad for some people only because of a gene that makes that herb taste like soap.

But are there other foods/herbs that are known to be your taste or not just with genetics?


1 Answer 1


This is an interesting question which I researched a bit, since I used do have night-mares of cilantro when I came first into contact with it in Portugal.

There are a lot of articles (like the ones linked in the comments of your question) about how genetics, how a certain part of the DNA is responsible for the experience of a certain taste, but not a lot of scientific papers about lasting taste preferences influenced by your DNA.

It seems much more to be an issue of habits and environment. Visiting Portugal for some years in a row, one day I didn't have to pick out the cilantro leaves anymore, actually started to like them so much that nowadays for me "more is better". That would not be possible, if I'm genetically designed to be a cilantro-hater

This paper speaks about moderate genetic basis of food preferences, which tends to not persist during time:

Conclusions: Food preferences had a moderate genetic basis in late adolescence, in keeping with findings in children. However, by this older age, the influence of the shared family environment had disappeared, and only aspects of the environment unique to each individual twin influenced food preferences. This finding suggests that shared environmental experiences that influence food preferences in childhood may not have effects that persist into adulthood.

  • It’s quite possible that my aversion to cilantro comes from my mom forcing me to bite into a bar of soap whenever I said a curse word as a kid, and not genetics. But I can’t test it with my twin, as he had to do the same thing
    – Joe
    Jan 5, 2022 at 9:39

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