Ever meet someone who wanted to be your friend? Then you meet their cousin, at their house, later, who’s much cooler to hang out with? That’s what chervil is to parsley.
Chervil is another parsley cousin. As you can see, it looks a lot like parsley. The taste, though, (see Experience), is pretty magical, fresh, or dried.
Chervil leaves are delicate and curly. They are a little lighter in color, and frillier, than flat leaf parsley, which tends to add to their freshness.
Some bunches may have feathery leafy tops. Some may still have tightly-closed leaves.
It is a rich source of bioflavonoids. They aid the human body in absorbing vitamin C, and other metabolic functions. It is also a good source of carotene, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium.
Both the leaves, and the root, can be used for culinary purposes. The fresh is always preferable to the dried, but, since chervil is a less readily found herb, the dried, when done in a process that locks in the flavor, is the next best option.
Chervil tastes like a delicate cross between tarragon and parsley. Chervil has a soft mild flavor like celery with hints of licorice and mint, although the freshness is not overbearing. Bunches that with blossoms should be discarded. The herb will have already turned bitter. Dried chervil is more more mellow than the the fresh.
Eggceptional in eggs, and in low-temp dishes, cold salads, etc. Cooking the leaves, with high heat, causes them to lose their flavor, and intensity.
Chervil is popular in Europe, but used more extensively in French cuisine. Chervil is native to the Caucasus, a mountainous region situated at the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, nestled between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Thanks to the Romans making their way through the continent, Europe received the plant well and managed to naturalize chervil in each country.
The use of chervil dates back to the Roman Empire. Romans introduced the herb as they conquered Europe. Culinarily, it is found in European cuisines, especially the French.
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