Parsley – The Mild And Subtle Complementary Herb
Parsley is a member of the Apiaceae family also known as the parsley family. The plant has flat or curly deep green leaves. The aroma and taste are described as being mild and subtle and complements whatever it is combined with without being over powering which is what makes it a popular herb in cooking.
The herbs origins are not certain but it is believed to be native to the Eastern Mediterranean region, although it is considered by others to be native to Sardinia.
The herb was known to the ancient Greeks who didn’t use it for cooking, but used it as a funeral herb. The Romans used the herb to disguise the alcohol fumes on their breath. The herb was surrounded by a great deal of superstition during medieval times. It is in the Southern United Stated that the herb came into its own as a food enhancer. The unassuming herb was used in local Southern cuisine particularly Creole cuisine.
The fresh herb most commonly the curly variety is the most often available. Bunches chosen should be springy and not wilted. The herb should be stored in a glass of water in the refrigerator or wrapped in foil and stored in the freezer.
The dried herb loses its flavor quickly and must be purchased often. The dried herb should be stored in an airtight package away from direct light and away from extremes of heat and humidity.
The herb is a great addition to almost any cuisine, and also acts like a breath freshener diminishing the effects of some foods on the breath. In addition to being used extensively in Creole cuisine, it is also used extensively in Italian cuisine.
For additional information about parsley click on the link to Wikipedia.org
For some great sections on herbs and spices some great references are:
• The Spice and Herb Bible – Second Edition by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphill
• The Food Encyclopedia by Jacques L. Rolland and Carol Sherman with other contributors
• Field Guide to Herbs & Spices by Aliza Green
• The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices – Seasonings For The Global Kitchen by Tony Hill
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