Do you miss curly parsley (or can you still get it where you are?)

It’s been years since I saw bright green curly parsley in the stores where I shopped in America, and now I am in Italy, doing a couple of long term projects, and curly parsley is nowhere to be found. I never thought I would miss it, but just a few weeks ago I had to go to Austria, and there is curly parsley galore there – and I liked it!

It has a lot more kick than flat-leaf parsley, and it really helps in some of those bland Teutonic foods. And the chlorophyll boost feels more robust.

Maybe living in the NY-metro-area gave me the false impression that curly parsley had gone the way of the dodo, and been hounded off tables across America. Do you still have it? Use it? Plant it? Get it on plates in the restaurants you go to?

One of the brightest memories I have of my grandmother is that, in a restaurant, she always finished her meal buy eating the parsley on her plate. She said it cleaned and protected the teeth. Anyone else ever hear this?

No, I prefer flatleaf parsley; I think it has a lot more flavour. But of course you should be able to get curly if you want it - why don’t you try getting some seeds and growing a pot of it?

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It’s still quite common where I am, both kinds are sold everywhere.
I use both for different things. Eating curly parsley at the end of a meal is mostly to freshen one’s breath, apparently.

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Flat & curly are readily available where I am in the world.

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lagatta, I’m presently in Italy and no curly leaf parsley here. Never looked for seeds for it, but I would probably need to go someplace special to get them. After posting this, I did some googling about curly leaf parsley, and there is some dispute among chefs as to which packs the greater flavor punch, although whether you eat either parsely young or mature seems to make a difference.

presunto, my grandmother is only one of many people in my family who claims I never listened to them, so perhaps what granny said was that it freshened her breath! (I preferred the mints at the cash register as I kid, but I’m liking curly parsley now). What different things do you use it for? Where it really shined in Vienna was a dish of liver that I ate. I don’t think I would want it with seafood (which I am making for dinner tonight).

I grow both kinds–but really prefer the flat-leaf. Groceries around here carry the curly, but I have yet to see any flat-leaf for sale.
I put a handful in the pot when making stock; chop it fine and put it with fresh green beans lightly steamed; make a parsley/butter to top steaks and pork chops; and use it on grilled salmon. There aren’t many dishes (with the exception of ice cream) that aren’t improved with a bit or a lot of parsley.

Having made an exception of ice cream, I just had to check with google to see if any Italians – who now experiment like crazy with gelato – had come up with a parsely-flavored gelato. Indeed, a small company called l"Albero dei Gelati (“The Tree of Gelatos”) has produced that flavor. In addition to several stores in Italy, they have a branch in Brooklyn, NYC, and on the website I see that there they seasonally produce an arugula gelato and organic lettuce gelato, but no indication of parsely (flat nor curly, but I assume in Italy they use flat-leaf “Italian” parsley).

If I am using another green leaf aromatic in a dish, I generally don’t add parsley as well.

You don’t see curly parsley in the shops much (if ever) here in the UK, but my dad has had some planted out for years and years and it grows away quite happily. I must confess, I much prefer flat leaf.

No, I’ve never seen curly parsley in Italy when I was living there.

Parsley, whether flatleaf or curly, isn’t just a pretty decoration or a flavouring. It is VERY nutritious, rich in vitamins A and C and many other nutrients. It is something I try to eat every day in the wintertime.

There are varieties of parsley with larger, aromatic roots (similar to celeriac with respect to celery). These are in season now in Montréal and other northern-temperate zones, they are wonderful in soup and gratins.

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I grow both curly and flat leaf parsley. As of last year, my preference is for curly leaf. That’s when I noticed my curly parsley was (literally) crawling with the most amazing caterpillars: black with yellow and neon green markings. A quick internet search told me these little guys would turn into black swallowtail butterflies.

male butterfly
female butterfly

And yes, parsley of any type is said to prevent bad breath.

I never see it here on the Left Coast. I vastly prefer the flat leaf. The curly ‘itched’ my throat :slight_smile:

Great to know. Good enough reason to grow some curly leaf. I’ve never seen a black swallowtail butterfly in Italy.

I don’t think I would like curly leaf parsley in Italian recipes, but it seemed to work well in Austria.

Waitrose and Sainsbury usually have it (don’t know about other supermarkets. Sometimes just curly, sometimes as well as flat.

My local greengrocer always has one or the other.

Waitrose don’t have shops this far north sad sigh. They deliver 3 days a week but the slots are like gold dust​:tired_face:. I plan nearly every holiday we have, to be near a store. Tragic, I know!!:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

The fact that you’re in Italy probably explains why you can only find flat leaf (Italian) parsley rather than curly (French) parsley.

As for here in Montreal, both are readily available. Although the only restaurants where I see it anymore are Levantine places where it is used for taboulé.

My flat leaf parsley attracted huge numbers of caterpillars, too. I planted some in my new butterfly/hummingbird garden and it’s taken to volunteering all over, in unexpected places. My patio pot of flat leaf gets decimated by beautiful caterpillars every year.

Now I know why I always have black swallowtails in abundance.


Yes, I did know not to expect to find curly parsley in Italy, and have always seen it sold as Italian parsley in America, but I didn’t know curly parsley was French. Do the French prefer it to Italian in their dishes?

Maybe eating any kind of parsely makes you beautiful. :joy:

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Both sit right next to eachother in grocery stores here in Southern California and both grow happily in my garden.

The Giant Swallowtails prefer my potted blood orange, lime and meyer lemon and they have voracious appetites. ;(


Do they prefer them as caterpillars or butterflies?

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