characteristics and benefits of Chervil


Il chervil it is an aromatic herb, also known as French parsley, due to its widespread use in French cuisine. It looks like a cross between tarragon and parsley. It has a delicate flavor with hints of licorice or anise, but these notes are not particularly intrusive on the palate. Its small leaves are curled and somewhat reminiscent of carrot leaves. It also produces small flowers – which should not be used because they are quite bitter – and is used for the preparation of dishes such as soups, salads, but also meat and vegetables.

Chervil at a glance

French parsley – what is it?

Chervil or French parsley (Genus Anthriscus and species cherry) – in English “French parsley” – is an aromatic vegetable whose fresh leaves are used as a spice or garnish in the kitchen, or as a remedy in folk medicine. Its life cycle is annual and it grows rather easily throughout the northern temperate belt. At first glance it is often confused with local parsley (Crispy parsley), in fact it belongs to the same biological family (Apiaceae).

Like most aromatic herbs or spontaneous perfumes, it is aspring grass, available at different times according to different areas and local climate. It is not difficult to grow it in a vegetable garden or in a small pot on the windowsill. When the leaves are completely open and tender, like traditional parsley, it can be harvested and used fresh, but also frozen and stored in airtight bags.

Chervil, or French parsley, is mainly composed of water and fibers; it does not contain relevant fats or proteins and does not present major dietary contraindications, being practically calorie-free, but the possibility of an allergic reaction must be taken into account, even if the histamines are not particularly relevant.

Beneficial properties

The properties of French parsley they are similar to those of classic parsley. It contains mineral salts, discrete quantities of potassium and magnesium. The quantities of iron and calcium are also more negligible. Among the vitamins we find the equivalent of retinol (RAE) – more precisely the carotenoids (provitamin A) – ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and folate. Keep in mind that they are lost in the event of cooking.

French parsley has several beneficial properties, such as, for example:

How to prepare the infusion

With chervil it is also possible to prepare an infusion with digestive and diuretic power, therefore detoxifying. It is obtained by infusing the fresh leaves with boiling water for 10 minutes. It is taken between meals, both hot and cold, as desired.

Uses in the kitchen

Il french parsley, it is widely used in the kitchen, especially in northern Europe, where it is often present in aromatic mixes with chives and dill. It is added in soups, because it has a delicate flavour, which does not dominate the other flavours, or in omelettes, with vegetables, or to flavor oil or butter to be served with bread. It is also used in meat and fresh pasta fillings.

It is commercially available both fresh and dried. In Italy it is quite difficult to find fresh French parsley, except in shops specializing in organic products or ethnic foods. The dried one, on the other hand, which tastes more strong and pungent and can be found more easily also in large-scale distribution.


The contraindications of French parsley, are not widespread. The most common they are linked to a possible allergy to some elements, which manifests itself above all with skin rashes and symptoms of contact dermatitis. It is always advisable to avoid consuming large quantities of parsley, such as the French one, and not to consume it during pregnancy.


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