|Scientific classification |
Chervil (//; Anthriscus cerefolium), sometimes called French parsley or garden chervil (to distinguish it from similar plants also called chervil), is a delicate annual herb related to parsley. It is commonly used to season mild-flavoured dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes.
The plants grow to 40–70 cm (16–28 in), with tripinnate leaves that may be curly. The small white flowers form small umbels, 2.54–5 cm (1.00–1.97 in) across. The fruit is about 1 cm long, oblong-ovoid with a slender, ridged beak.
Uses and impact
Chervil is used, particularly in France, to season poultry, seafood, young spring vegetables (such as carrots), soups, and sauces. More delicate than parsley, it has a faint taste of liquorice or aniseed.
Chervil is one of the four traditional French fines herbes, along with tarragon, chives, and parsley, which are essential to French cooking. Unlike the more pungent, robust herbs, thyme, rosemary, etc., which can take prolonged cooking, the fines herbes are added at the last minute, to salads, omelettes, and soups.
According to some, slugs are attracted to chervil and the plant is sometimes used to bait them.
Chervil has had various uses in folk medicine. It was claimed to be useful as a digestive aid, for lowering high blood pressure, and, infused with vinegar, for curing hiccups. Besides its digestive properties, it is used as a mild stimulant.
Chervil has also been implicated in "strimmer dermatitis", or phytophotodermatitis, due to spray from weed trimmers and other forms of contact. Other plants in the family Apiaceae can have similar effects.
Transplanting chervil can be difficult, due to the long taproot. It prefers a cool and moist location; otherwise, it rapidly goes to seed (also known as bolting). It is usually grown as a cool-season crop, like lettuce, and should be planted in early spring and late fall or in a winter greenhouse. Regular harvesting of leaves also helps to prevent bolting. If plants bolt despite precautions, the plant can be periodically re-sown throughout the growing season, thus producing fresh plants as older plants bolt and go out of production.
- Donnegan, James (3 August 2018). "O new greek and english lexicon". Cowie – via Google Books.
- "Chervil, One of the Best & Least Appreciated Herbs - The Art of Eating Magazine". 1 October 2014.
- Vaughan, J.G.; Geissler, C.A. (1997). The New Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press.
- Gualtiero Simonetti (1990). Stanley Schuler, ed. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Herbs and Spices. Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-73489-X.
- Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking vol. I p 18.
- Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, Deborah L. Martin, "Chervil is irresistible to slugs" in The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease, Page 363.
- McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing.
- Drugge, Rhett; Dunn, Heather. "Botanical Dermatology Phytophotodermatitis". Electronic Textbook of Dermatology. The Internet Dermatology Society, Inc. Archived from the original on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Howard, Michael. Traditional Folk Remedies (Century, 1987), p. 118.