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Curly or Flat

Curly or Flat?


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  1. Flat! Why? smell, flavor, chopability.

    Curly: makes great hair for fingerling potato heads if you're playing with your food. (Nasty texture in the mouth and barely any flavor makes it a big cooking no for me; I'd rather do without.)

    1. Flat...it tastes better to me (more flavor) and I know I've read in more than one place that it's more nutritious than the curly counter-part...here's one source:

      1. I've been using flat Italian parsley since birth, or so it seems. Two weeks ago there was a bunch of curly in our CSA bag. At first I just groaned and stuck it in the fridge but soon I had to use it, and you know? It wasn't half bad. There was some flavor and it wasn't difficult to chop. Perhaps because because it was grown at a local farm instead of a "produce factory." I won't go out of my way to buy it regularly but it's OK in a pinch.

        1. Are we talking packaged lasagna noodles or parsley here? ;-)

          If the former, I like the curly, 'cause it makes the lasagna look cool. If the latter, I prefer the flat because of flavor and ease of chopping.

          4 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            LOL... I thought he meant parsley.

            1. re: Gio

              And I had *just* read and responded to Jacquilynne's 50-layer lasagna post, so that's the first thing I thought of. :-)

            2. re: LindaWhit

              I thought fries - not that anyone, ever, has heard of "flat" fries. But yeah, that's where my brain went.

              1. re: shanagain

                hahaha! Well, some steak fries are sort of flat...

            3. Parsley, right? Flat if you're going to eat it--more flavor, easier chopping--but curly if it's for a decoration. My mom, not a serious cook, only buys curly because she values aesthetics more than flavor.

              1. I once made chimichurri with curly and it was so tasteless I made a special trip to buy flat and start over. And I'm living happily ever after.

                1. Flat is more flavorful. Curly is good to when you want mellow.

                  1. Flat has a wonderful grassey smell that hits the nose first. I often use it to finish dishes and salads. Just love that smell.

                    1. Parsley:

                      Flat is more flavorful.
                      Curly holds up for a longer time in the fridge.

                      1. "They" say, flat-leaf parsley has been elevated in status to that of an HERB. Curly is just a garnish! I only buy flat. Once, husband came home with curly and was "told off" in no uncertain terms. He learned.

                        1. I guess I should have included the word endive in the title.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: Paulustrious

                            Now you tell us...LOL
                            In my lexicon curly endive is Chicory and the other is Belgian endive (on-deev). Two different vegetables, although in the same family, cooked in different ways. Both delicious.

                            1. re: Gio

                              That's really interesting, this whole endive business. What you guys (anglos) call Belgian endive is known as chicoree here. The curly endive is frisée. No wonder people get confused about shit like that all the tiime....

                              1. re: linguafood

                                The Really curly little mostly white-ish green ( think endive), which I love, we call frisee.
                                So we have three:
                                Belgian endive
                                Chicory (Frisee's great big brother)

                                And then there's escarole...

                                1. re: Gio

                                  There are lot's of cultivars in the chicory kingdom, it's a big family.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    I love them all. I love to braise chicoree (ok, Belgian endive) in butter and lots of lemon & fresh ground pepper. It also makes a lovely salad with citrus sections, and a slightly curried sour cream dressing.... hmmm. I want that now, I think!

                            2. re: Paulustrious

                              Ha ha, in that case, I don't think of Belgian endive as flat, but I'll take that variety over curly.

                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                LOL! Great. Well, at least you know our other curly/flat preferences. ;-)

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  right? I feel as though this was a total waste of time! However, I now learned that endive comes in both curly and flat...did not know that before!

                                  1. re: Val

                                    Nah, not a total waste of time. And I could be wrong, but I think Paulustrious was pulling our leg re: endive. :-)

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      hee hee...and I coulda and shoulda said "be more specific!"

                                2. re: Paulustrious

                                  Ah. Now this might possibly become another of those transatlantic things.

                                  I only know of one sort of endive. And it ain't curly. And it ain't flat. But it is delicious, either raw in salads or braised as a vegetable. It's here:

                                  I've Googled and see a photo of what I presume north Americans call endive. It's a sort of spiky lettuce thingy. We call it frisee. I hate it and, when ordering a salad in a restaurant, would always ask for it to be left out. Don't like the texture. Don't like the taste.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    Harters, what you call endive, I call the same thing. I'd never heard of "curly endive", but the moment I saw you had written frisée, I knew what you meant - they put frisée lettuce into bagged "lettuce mixes" here in the States. I'm not a big fan of it either, as they tend to put the entire clump without breaking it up at all.

                                    Pics below - what I know as endive, and frisée, respectively.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I think of curly endive as curly chicory; chicory is referred to as that occasionally, but Paulustrious could also be referring to frisée, yet another name for curly endive. I know you've seen heads of the curly chicory in the markets, especially Italian; there's a photo link posted below. It's all related, as curly or Belgian endive, frisée, radicchio, escarole are all part of the chicory family. The curly chicory I'm thinking of is considered to be a bitter green, is sometimes referred to as asparagus, Catalonia, dandelion or puntarelle chicory, looks quite like dandelion greens, and is used in Italian cooking to an extent. My dad used to saute it in olive oil with garlic and anchovies and top it with an egg. I'm not a fan.

                                      French curly endive is frisée, chicorée frisée in French. Frisee and what I call curly chicory are different cultivars of the chicory family. I like frisee greatly, but the other curly chicory varieties are much too bitter for my taste. There's my justification.

                                      Photos of different varieties of curly chicory:


                                      Photo of the mop-like frisée head:

                                      There's a informative chow "ingredients" page about chicory in general, find it at the site map, scroll down a ways:


                                      There's much to know about the chicory family, more so than curly or flat leaf parsley. The topic switch just made this thread a bit more interesting.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit


                                        Yep - those are the beasties. And, yep, we get them in lots of the bagged salad mixes - means I spend ages checking the list of what's in there.

                                      2. re: Harters

                                        Ha! Should've scrolled down further before I got behind my lectern.

                                    2. Flat, of course. Curly kale is nearly impossible to turn into a chiffonade.