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Food and Wine Dictionary

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In ancient times parsley wreaths were used to ward off drunkenness — though proof of their efficacy in that capacity isscarce. Today, this slightly peppery, fresh-flavored herb is more commonly usedas a flavoring and garnish. Though there are more than 30 varieties of this herb,the most popular are curly-leaf parsley and the more strongly flavoredItalian or flat-leaf parsley. Fresh curly leaf parsley iswidely available year-round, while Italian parsley must sometimes be searched outin gourmet produce markets. Parsley is sold in bunches and should be chosen forits bright-green leaves that show no sign of wilting. Wash fresh parsley, shakingoff excess moisture, and wrap first in paper towels, then in a plastic bag.Refrigerate for up to a week. Dried parsley is available in the spicesection of most supermarkets but bears little resemblance to the flavor of fresh.Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. See also  HERBS; HERB AND SPICE CHART.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

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