General Description

Parsley is the dried leaf of Petroselinum crispum, a biennial in the parsley family.

Geographical Sources

Israel, Europe, India and the United States.

Traditional Ethnic Uses

Parsley is most popular as a garnish and is an excellent breath freshener. It is high in vitamins A and C, and contains iron, iodine, and copper.

Taste and Aroma Description

Parsley has a light, fresh scent and flavor.

History/Region of Origin

Parsley was cultivated as early as the third century BC. The Romans used Parsley as a garnish and flavoring. They put it on their tables and around their necks in the belief the leaves would absorb fumes. Medieval Europeans believed that one could kill an enemy by plucking a sprig while speaking the person's name. It spread to the Americas in the 17th century, where it now grows plentifully. It is the most widely used culinary herb in the United States. Parsley is difficult to process because it takes twelve pounds of fresh Parsley to make one pound of dried. However, more people still use dried Parsley than fresh leaves as a garnish in soups, salads, meats, vegetables, and sauces.

Storage Tips

Store in cool, dark, dry places.

A Few Ideas to Get You Started

Stretch homemade pesto and other green sauces by adding a generous amount of Parsley during mixing. Stir Parsley into melted garlic butter for a savory, yet simple, pasta or steamed vegetable topper. Add directly to liquids, cooked foods, melted butter, and salad dressings for a light spicy touch. Try a no-salt herb blend by combining 1 tablespoon each Parsley Flakes, marjoram, and thyme. Crush Parsley in your hand or with a mortar and pestle before adding to food.