As many as one in five people says that coriander has a soapy taste. This is likely to be due to a super-sensitivity to chemicals called aldehydes, which are present in coriander and are also used to perfume soaps and detergents.
In 2012, researchers in California analysed the DNA of over 14,000 people, identifying two genetic variants associated with the soapy taste, the most common of which is a gene coding for an odour receptor tailored to sniff out aldehydes.
Dr Emma Davies is a science writer and editor with a PhD in food chemistry from the University of Leeds. She writes about all aspects of chemistry, from food and the environment to toxicology and regulatory science.