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This Cilantro Is Supposed to Taste Like Soap (Because It Is Soap)

Food & Wine logo Food & Wine 2/12/2021 Mike Pomranz
Chipotle is selling actual bars of soap made with coriander essential oil. © Courtesy of Chipotle Chipotle is selling actual bars of soap made with coriander essential oil.

Courtesy of Chipotle © Provided by Food & Wine Courtesy of Chipotle

Cilantro is one of the most controversial ingredients on Earth, and for good reason. Unlike other foods that may simply be an acquired taste, a significant chunk of the population has a literal genetic predisposition to disliking cilantro: somewhere between 4 and 14 percent of people find that the leafy green herb tastes like soap.

For cilantro lovers, the idea that this awesome ingredient could taste like it belongs in the shower can be hard to wrap your head around, but this Christmas, Chipotle — which offers cilantro on many of its menu items — has come up with a fun concept to hammer cilantro hatred home: literal Cilantro Soap.

Available starting today exclusively at chipotlegoods.com while supplies last, this "100-percent real soap bar" is "the perfect gift for cilantro lovers and haters alike" — though, either way, Chipotle warns, "Just make sure they don't eat it." Made with "real ingredients," this $8 four-ounce bar includes saponified organic oils (specifically, olive, coconut, flaxseed, and shea), coriander essential oil (keep in mind, cilantro are the leaves of the coriander plant), and chlorella powder. It certainly makes for a solid conversation starter about cilantro's two disparate sides.

Chipotle says the now IRL soap stems from a humorous photo the brand shared on Instagram back in August. "Our Cilantro Soap plays into a larger trend of turning digital moments into real life experiences," Chris Brandt, Chipotle's chief marketing officer, said in the announcement. "Every Chipotle fan, regardless of which side of the great cilantro debate they're on, can appreciate this fan-inspired gift."

Meanwhile, once you've popped over to the Chipotle Goods store, the chain suggests you check out some of the other products they've added for the holiday season including new garments naturally dyed with upcycled Chipotle avocado pits as well as a new "dad hat" and beanie. Granted, none of those items are a discussion-worthy as cilantro soap, but you also don't have to warn someone not to eat a hat.

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