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I have no use for parsley...

Italian or curly.

To me, it has the flavor of grass (or some nondescript plant matter). Bitter grass.

Used as a main ingredient (as in tabbouleh - I don't like tabbouleh) or as an herb (just about everything else), I don't care for it.

It looks pretty on a plate but that's about it. When I eat something that's been sprinkled with parsley, I try to pick them off because it tastes grassy and throws off the other flavors of the dish.

Does anyone else feel this way about parsley? It is so ubiquitous in restaurants and recipes alike. Why is parsley so popular? I just don't get it.

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  1. i like flat parsely for it's peppery bite.

    1. I think it's that very grassiness that I like. It gives a fresh note to a heavy dish. I don't think I always felt this way. I used to just ignore the parsley in a recipe. Somewhere along the way I discovered I really like it.

      7 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        Agree--in fact, I used to make a capellini dish loaded with eggs, butter, grated cheese and...you guessed it...parsley. Exceptionally simple and tasty.

        1. re: kattyeyes

          You don't make it anymore??? Why??????????????

          1. re: c oliver

            It's a better dish to share with a bunch of people than to have just two eat all that butter, eggs, cheese...really rich and not what the ol' cholesterol kid here is supposed to be eating. I have too many other indulgences. But it's good and I can send it to you if you wish.

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Re indulgences, I guess I do too :( My latest addiction is Hazan's carbonara. What's not to love with bacon/pancetta,wine, eggs, cheese. Oh yeah, there's some parsley there. That makes it healthy, right??? Maybe THAT'S why we have parsley.

              1. re: c oliver

                Good point--I will abide by that philosophy: parsley makes our naughty dishes healthy. And while we're at it, the man in the package store who sold it to me told me Bailey's Irish Cream isn't fattening, either! It's gonna be a banner day for eating and drinking. Slainte! ;)

              2. re: kattyeyes

                I'd love the recipe for that if you'd care to post it. Big fan of parsley... and pasta... and cheese... and butter... :-)

                1. re: Emmmily

                  Here you are--my pleasure. This is right up your alley! :)

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609291

        2. I wasn't a parsley fan until I grew it in my garden. Just picked and chopped and into my pot. I grow both flat and curly, but mostly just cook with the flat.

          7 Replies
          1. re: janetms383

            What IS the point of the curly. I don't know anyone who uses it.

            1. re: c oliver

              I use it in Chimichurri sauce. And, I'm corny enough to like to use it as a garnish.

              1. re: c oliver

                The curly keeps much longer than the flat in the refrigerator.

                1. re: EdwardAdams

                  Flat parsley keeps for weeks in my fridge. Either in a covered herb keeper or a glass, with a produce bag tented over it.

              2. re: janetms383

                I like curly parsley. I'm not sure I can articulate why. I suppose I'll have to buy some of each now and see if I can really taste a difference. I almost exclusively buy curly parsley. Love it.

                1. re: janetms383

                  I agree whole heartedly. I hated buying a big bunch of parsley and having 90% of it go bad before I could use it all. Now I just go grab a few sprigs from the garden and I put it in almost everything.

                  I too grow both and mostly use the flat. The curly is great for garnishing and for certain dishes like deviled eggs where I prefer a finely minced curly as opposed to a rough chopped flat leaf.

                  On another note, I found out that if you stick your freshly cut parsley stems in a glass of water on the windowsill, it will stay fresh for weeks. Now, I typically cut more than I immediately need and just plunk it in some water above the sink so it is within reaching distance for several days.

                  1. re: meadandale

                    I'm finding that I make a stew or casserole or soup or something often enough that if I have parsley that's getting long in the tooth, I'll just add it to one of those dishes.

                2. Parsley adds color and aids in digestion. If it is a grassy bitter flavor you dislike ( i think this varies)- chop your parsley fine - place in a clean kitchen towel and make a ball of it run it under water - twisting to rinse the chlorophyl out. I frequently skip this step at home - but in a restaurant always...it'll take away the bitter and leave the fresh green taste behind

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: coastie

                    What a good tip. Thanks. OP might like that also.

                  2. ADULT RATED: I've always liked it, but if you NEED a reason other than flavor and vitamins and enzymes -- I once had a waitress ask me if I'd like some extra fresh Italian parsley sprinkled on top of some dish I had ordered, and when I said, sure I love it, she said -- Oh good, it makes your 'come' taste sweet! What better reason could anyone need?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pgalioni

                      Funny........glad I saw it......maybe others won't.
                      BTW.....What's the name of the restaurant?

                    2. All parsley tastes vegetal. Like grass. It's bright and slightly bitter and makes a nice color contrast on the plate. And the curly stuff is even more decorative (and flavorless). Big deal.

                      But good parsley tastes vegetal and like, well, parsley. My eye-opener was a chimichurri made with home-grown parsley and lots of fresh garlic. It made me appreciate what the flavor is supposed to be about.

                      Maybe you just don't care for the stuff. Fair enough. But you may find something that makes you appreciate the flavor. Don't write it off yet. Me, I grow it as long as the weather will allow.

                      1. I hate parsley when I'm not growing it- so many recipes call for a teaspoon or a tablespoon of fresh parsley- which leaves you with a *lot* if you actually go out and buy it. When I have it growing in the garden, it is so easy to just snip whatever I need.

                        1. i love parsley, i addore tabouli, and pasta with olive oil and parley and parmesan, also i used to make salmon in the frying pan with an entire (really) bunch of parsley soaked in the juices of the salmon while it cooked and with about five lemons sqeezed on it. i am a bit of a greens weirdo though

                          1. I like tabbouleh and make it frequently, I only use flat leaf Italian parsley. Also parsley pesto is excellent. Broaden your horizens!

                            1. I suspect this is because of your tasting ability / facility. There is a whole group of people who dislike some combination of parsley, rapini, kohlrabi, sprouts, bitters. As we age and lose our tasting ability we tend to be more tolerant of them.

                              1. I am with you 100%. To me, parsley is at one end of an anise-like spectrum that includes cilantro, fennel, and licorice, all of which I thoroughly detest. Some people taste cilantro as soapy. I don't taste soap - more like skunk.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: greygarious

                                  I love cilantro but hate licorice. Fennel I don't mind as much because it's much more subtle. I do occasionally get the soapy flavor from cilantro and find it more pronounced on younger leaves... there are some things I can't imagine having without cilantro - most salsas, chili verde, many Mexican & Asian dishes.. Ah well. To each his own tastebuds.

                                2. I didn't use much parsley until I took greater interest in Spanish cooking. It is almost as common in Spanish recipes as cilantro is in Mexican. An alternative name for the flat parsley is Italian parsley.

                                  1. I Love Parsely. I almost always have a bunch of it in a pint glass filled with water by the stove that i snip as needed. As others have said, I like the freshness it adds to a dish to brighten it. I use the stems in stocks and soup. I do have a friend though who despises it and wont eat anything with parsely in it.
                                    I also find the bit of color appealing- in the same way I love chives on top of things.

                                    1. I have two dishes that I make where fresh chopped parsley is wonderful and even necessary. :) Fresh parsley is chock full of vitamin C. So it's very good for you. :)

                                      I make a healthy chicken salad that I brought to Daddy when he was in the hospital after his stroke that I put freshly chopped parsley in it to add vitamin C to it. I don't had tons of it, but it does something to round out the other flavours.

                                      Also, I make a very strong garlic chicken soup, using loads and loads of garlic (think how much would be a lot, then add five more cloves, or double it). I love adding freshly chopped parsley to that. The reason I usually have this soup is because I'm coming down with a cold, so the parsley and vitamin C make me feel like I'm boosting my immune system (even if I'm not really). :) Besides, it makes the soup taste more fresh and springy. :)

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Morganna

                                        Garlic and parsley are both anti-toxins, so yes! you are doing yourself some good to make a good garlicky soup and add fresh parsley.

                                        1. re: Morganna

                                          Chicken broth steeped with lots of parsley and garlic is the best possible thing to have if you're nauseated. GROSS-OUT WARNING!! If you do that very easily, read no further...but the real wonder of this potion is that it tastes as good coming back as it did going down. And what stays down helps both to hydrate you and relieve the symptoms.

                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            Dude. All kinds of good stuff on this thread.

                                            1. re: soniabegonia

                                              Still laughing. I don't know that I can vouch for that (I have experienced the coming and going after contracting food poisoning), but you crack me up. ;)

                                        2. I grew up with cooks that were passionate about parsley. As immigrants in the 50's and 60's they wanted nothing to do with the curly stuff and many little linen hankies of seeds were brought back by folks coming back from the "Old Country". In our dialect the direct translation is "green stuff" (gruen Zeug). My grandmother had an 8 by 2 foot patch in the only dirt in her backyard and the kids were often sent out to pick it. I think it was a variant of flat leaf parsley because the roots were also used in soup like parsnip. The first time in the 70's when I saw it in a market I nicked a leaf and the smell transported me back in time. As women who learned to deal with lack of food during WW2 they made this great soup that was just a roux with minced onions (Einbren), thinned with milk and finished with masses of minced parsley- us kids loved it. During the 80's I was seduced by cilantro and left parsley behind. Recently I re-connected and the love affair is going strong. I have it planted in random spots all over the garden and it finishes so many dishes well.

                                          1. I love it. I think it's because it's my mom's favorite herb and I grew up with heaping portions of it thrown into random dishes. I think it gives a nice, fresh taste to food when it's mixed in properly. That said, I haven't had a green don't love.

                                            1. It's one of my favorite herbs. However, there's no question that some cooks put it places where it has no business. In particular, I think it's really out of place in a lot of rich, buttery dishes where the point is the unctuousness, like a cheese omelet. I also had a very expensive steak adorned with a good sprinkling of chopped parsley once, and it almost ruined the irony richness I was expecting. But I was a guest at a business meal and wasn't about to send it back.

                                              In its place, I love it. But you're under no obligation to feel the same way.