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Chervil

This article is about the culinary herb called chervil. For the root vegetable (turnip rooted chervil) see Chaerophyllum bulbosum. For other plants sometimes referred to as chervil see Anthriscus and Chaerophyllum
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Garden Chervil
Scientific classification
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This page is a soft redirect. Anthriscus cerefolium
(L.) Hoffm.

Chervil (/ˈɜrˌvɪl/; Anthriscus cerefolium), sometimes called garden chervil to distinguish it from similar plants also called chervil, or French parsley, 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.

Biology

A member of the Apiaceae, chervil is native to the Caucasus but was spread by the Romans through most of Europe, where it is now naturalised.[1]

The plants grow to Script error: No such module "convert"., with tripinnate leaves that may be curly. The small white flowers form small umbels, Script error: No such module "convert". across. The fruit is about 1 cm long, oblong-ovoid with a slender, ridged beak.[1]

Uses and impact

Culinary arts

File:Chervil.JPG
Chervil garnishing a salad

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.[2]

Chervil is one of the four traditional French fines herbes, along with tarragon, chives, and parsley, which are essential to French cooking.[3] 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.

Horticulture

According to some, slugs are attracted to chervil and the plant is sometimes used to bait them.[4]

Health

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.[5] Besides its digestive properties, it is used as a mild stimulant.[2]

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.[6]

Cultivation

Transplanting chervil can be difficult, due to the long taproot.[5] It prefers a cool and moist location, otherwise it rapidly goes to seed (also known as bolting).[5] 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.[5] 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.

Chervil grows to a height of Script error: No such module "convert"., and a width of Script error: No such module "convert"..[5]

See also


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Vaughan, J.G.; Geissler, C.A. (1997). The New Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gualtiero Simonetti (1990). Stanley Schuler, ed. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Herbs and Spices. Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-73489-X. 
  3. Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking vol. I p 18.
  4. 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.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing. 
  6. Drugge, Rhett; Dunn, Heather. "Botanical Dermatology Phytophotodermatitis". Electronic Textbook of Dermatology. The Internet Dermatology Society, Inc. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 

Further reading

  • Howard, Michael. Traditional Folk Remedies (Century, 1987), p. 118.