Whenever the topic of herbs and spices in food comes up you can always expect a spirited debate.

And one herb, in particular, seems to be the one that divides people's taste buds the most. In fact, it was just voted the 12th most hated food item in America.

It's Cilantro.

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There are extremely strong feelings about this particular herb. To some, it's the perfect compliment to just about any dish, while to others it's the equivalent of gargling with dish soap.

That unpleasant taste is actually a byproduct of genetics. Variations of the olfactory receptor gene OR6A2 can actually alter the taste of cilantro to some people.

So where do people love cilantro most in America? Not surprisingly in the west and southwest where cilantro pairs well with Mexican food in those areas.

According to new data from Instacart, foodies in Arizona (6.2 percent) and California (6.1 percent) include it in the highest percentage of their food orders.

But right on their heels is a place now known for having particularly spicy food - Minnesota.

Diners in the North Star State include cilantro in six percent of their orders, which is tied for third-most in America with Colorado, Nevada, and Texas.

Folks in Iowa love their cilantro as well.

Residents of the Hawkeye State include it 5.9 percent of the time, which is the seventh highest in the nation.

(percentage of orders that contain cilantro)

  • Arizona 6.2
  • California 6.1
  • Minnesota 6.0
  • Colorado 6.0
  • Nevada 6.0
  • Texas 6.0
  • Iowa 5.9
  • Oregon 5.8
  • Washington 5.8
  • New Mexico 5.7
  • Utah 5.7
Cilantro Loving States

Cilantro is most unpopular in Alabama (2%), New Hampshire (2.2%), Vermont (2.4%) and South Carolina (2.6%).

Across the country, cilantro is tops among all herbs and spices used, followed by dried garlic, flat-leaf parsley, dried onion, cinnamon, and thyme.

As for the top herb and spice choice of each of the 50 states, Iowa sticks with cilantro, South Dakota is one of the states (along with Kentucky) that has a preference for chili powder, while Minnesota is the only state partial to chives.

Top Herbs/Spices in America

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