MARCH 21, 2018 – PARSLEY

Parsley history, folklore and early medicinal uses include connections to death & poison.  Much of the folklore surrounding parsley can be probably attributed to a look-alike plant called fool’s parsley that is actually deadly.  Fools parsley contains poisonous alkaloids and even a small amount can lead to serious poisoning, and a larger amount can be fatal.

Common Name: Parsley
Latin/Scientific Name: Petroselinum crispum
Other Names: Common Parsley, Garden Parsley, German parsley, Hamburg, Parsley Fruit, Parsley Root, Rock Parsley.
Origin:  Central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia).


The Ancient Greeks simply associated parsley with death as it was supposed to have sprung from the blood of Archemorus, whose name meant ‘Forerunner of Death.’  The saying ‘to be in need of parsley’ was their way of saying that someone was terribly ill and not expected to survive.

The Romans did not generally eat parsley either but they did wear garlands of parsley on their heads during feasts to ward off intoxication.  Parsley was kept away from nursing mothers because it was thought to cause epilepsy in their babies.  Ironically, at Roman weddings, wreaths of parsley were given to protect against evil spirits.

Parsley history includes its use as an antidote against poisons.  It is suggested that parsley’s ability to counteract the strong smell of garlic is a possible source for this belief and usage.

Fortunately, now we know that Parsley is a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A, folate and iron.  Although, excessive consumption of parsley should be avoided by pregnant women. Normal food quantities are safe for them to consume, but consuming excessively large amounts may have uterotinic effects.

Published by Culinary Chick

My name is Anna Hattauer and I love to cook. I am a personal chef living in Maryland. I grew up in California, joined the United States Army right after high school, got married, raised three children while going to college and working full time. As a young military wife and mother, we didn't have the money to go out to eat on a regular basis and had to make each pay check stretch. I learned how to prepare meals that were delicious, while staying within budget. While working full-time in the corporate world with the usual 2-3 hour I-270 commute, coupled with school & sports events, scouts and taking care of three children, it was tough to find the time or the energy to come home and prepare healthy meals for my family. Being a military family, we have traveled to many places around the world. I love trying new foods, the challenge of cooking new recipes and having friends over for dinner as well as cooking for special events. After cooking for my friends and family for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to share my love of food and make people happy, so I dropped the corporate chaos and attended a formal culinary school and became a certified personal chef. I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and I am licensed, insured and ServSafe certified.

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