The Controversial Herb That Pairs Well With Your Favorite Fruit

Fruit and herbs are always a great combo. When making a strawberry bruschetta, it just wouldn't taste the same without the minty and peppery flavors of basil tempering the sweetness. Looking for a marinade for a tender protein? It's rosemary and citrus to the rescue. In fact, the amalgamation of this herb's piney taste and the tart elements of citrus help to create a bath that is perfect for dishes like garlicky pan-seared lamb chops. And when you are craving a fruit salad, it's a mint dressing that brings all the flavors together.

Herbs in both their fresh and dried forms can transform your fruit into something new and delicious. Of course, not all herbs in your garden are created equal. Some of these beautiful plants like oregano, which pairs so well with tomatoes, and parsley, which is used in a number of dishes, get more love than others.

However, one herb that can truly enhance the flavor of some of your favorite fruits and is particularly popular in Latin America may not be for everyone. In fact, if you count yourself among the 4% to 14% of individuals who cannot stand its taste (via SciShow), this dynamic addition may have you malingering the act of throwing up.

Julia Child was not a fan

What is this controversial herb that pairs well with fruit? Alas, it is one that some say tastes like soap and is known to chefs as cilantro or coriander. If you are among those who dislike cilantro, you are not alone. Julia Child famously shared with Larry King that she isn't fond of it either because it has a "dead taste" when it hits her mouth (via CNN).

That said, if you are part of the majority who loves cilantro's peppery and citrusy notes, which can balance and augment a recipe's flavor, this green herb is just waiting for its chance to make your tropical fruits shine. 

Cilantro pairs well with pineapple, mango, bananas, lime, and even apples and watermelon. Its spicy elements provide contrast to the natural sweetness of fruit and can play with the yin and yang of your taste buds. In baking, the flavor of cilantro paired with the zest of a favorite citrus can produce a sweet but piquant dessert, such as cilantro-lime cookies.

If you want to use up the bountiful number of apples from a fall picking, cilantro makes for the perfect costar in an apple-cilantro salad. Of course, when mangos couple up with this herb, there's nothing that tastes quite as yummy as a kickin' but easy mango salsa.  So, the next time you want to spice up your fruit, reach for the cilantro.