2013.6CET4阅读:奇葩的香菜盖饭

There's no question that cilantro is a polarizing herb. Some of us heap it onto salsas and soups with gusto while others avoid cilantro because it smells like soap and tastes like crushed bugs.
毋庸置疑,香菜受到了两种最为极端的对待:喜欢它的人会把成堆的香菜放到沙拉和汤里,而讨厌它的人却觉得香菜闻着像肥皂,尝起来像是在嚼臭虫。

A large chunk of the US population—including the likes of culinary goddess Julia Child—have claimed that it tastes offensive. Kinda like soap, in fact. It spreads further than these shores, too: a recent survey suggested that 21 percent of east Asians, 17 percent of Europeans, and 14 percent of people of African descent all claim to be repulsed by the stuff.
包括著名厨师朱莉娅·查尔德在内的许多美国人wyzfox.com发出的肥皂一样的味道。但实际上并非只有美国人这样认为,最近一项调查显示,21%的东亚人、17%的欧洲人和14%的非洲人都说他们讨厌这种蔬菜。

But what separates the cilantro lovers from the haters? Is it hard-wired in our genes, as Harold McGee suggested a few years ago in the New York Times? It's probably not so simple.
但为什么有人对香菜爱得要死,有人却避之不及呢?是像食物专家哈洛德·麦基几年前在《纽约时报》上撰文说的那样,我们体内的基因决定对香菜的喜好吗?也许答案并没有那么简单。

Geneticists at 23andMe in California asked about 25,000 people whether they like cilantro or think it smells soapy. When they searched the people's DNA for regions that correlate with a distaste for the herb, a single spot jumped out. And, it sits right next to a cluster of odor-detecting genes, including one that is known to specifically recognize the soapy aromas in cilantro's bouquet.
位于加州的个人基因信息网站23andMe曾调查过25000人,问他们是否认为香菜闻着像肥皂。当网站的基因学家研究DNA,看是否有专门控制排斥香菜的基因位点时,他们找到了一个点,而且这个位点就在嗅觉检验基因簇的旁边,将香菜的味道归入肥皂味的基因也位于这个基因簇中。


The strongest variant lies within a cluster of olfactory-receptor genes—part of the genome which influences our sense of smell. Buried within that cluster is a gene called OR6A2, which encodes a receptor that makes people sensitive to the aldehyde chemicals contributing to cilantro's characteristic flavor.
在这簇嗅觉受体基因中,有一称作OR6A2的最强变体,它负责编码一种受体基因,能使人们对香菜特殊气味的醛类物质异常敏感。

But, "it didn't make a huge a difference in cilantro preference from person to person," Nicholas Eriksson, the lead author on the study says. In fact, their results suggest that a hatred for cilantro has only a small underlying genetic component. He and his team just published their findings on the arXiv.org.
不过该研究的主要作者尼古拉斯·埃里克森告诉记者:“个人对香菜的喜好和这个基因的关系并不大。”实际上,这个研究表明,基因组成只是某些人反感香菜的一小部分原因。埃里克森和他团队的这一研究已经发表在arXiv.org网站上。

The scientists pinpointed three more genes that influence our perception of cilantro: Two of the genes are involved with tasting bitter foods and one gene detects pungent compounds, like those in wasabi.
通过研究,这些科学家又指出三个影响我们对香菜接受度的基因。其中有两个和品尝苦味有关,第三个和探测类似芥末的刺激性气味有关。

Overall, Eriksson says these studies demonstrate that DNA does shape our opinion of cilantro, but probably not enough that we can't overcome it. "It isn't like your height, that you're stuck with. People can change it," he says.
总之,埃里克森认为,虽然DNA的确会影响人们对香菜的好恶,但却还在可控范围内。他说:“这并不像你的身高一样,一旦定型就不可改变。我们还是可以改变对香菜的看法的。”

As Nature reports, McGee offers a strategy for building up an appreciation for the herb: Try a cilantro pesto. Crushing the leaves, he says, releases enzymes that convert the soapy, stinky compounds into more mild aromas.
根据《自然杂志》的报道,麦基为我们提供了一个接受香菜的食谱:香菜蒜香酱。把香菜的叶子捣碎,这样香菜就能释放出多种酶,把刺鼻的肥皂味变成更轻微的香气。

But Julia Child, an avowed cilantro hater, said she would just pick it out and throw it on the floor, Nature reports.
不过《自然杂志》也报道,查尔德依然坚定地站在反对香菜的阵营里,她说她更愿意把香菜挑出来扔到地上。

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