Italian parsley

About 4 to 6 weeks ago, Nancy and I were passing by a rural hardware store that we had wanted to explore for quite some time. We had time to kill so we decided now was the time. I hit the garden center and found 2” pots labeled Italian parsley and as best I could tell it looked like baby italian parsley. Italian parsley is easy to distinguish from regular parsley but not so easy to distinguish from say, Greek parsley. It was flat leaf which is what I really wanted so I bought the remaining three pots at $0.50 each. I had a perfect spot in the garden and set them out that day. Apparently they loved the spot and grew with abandon. Last week I commented to Nancy that I had never seen Parsley grow so big and so fast. That was an important piece of information because Nancy’s cousin is visiting next week and one of our rituals is for Fred to cook a feast of clams and pasta one night during their stay and Italian parsley is an important ingredient in his recipe. I’m not convinced he could tell the difference between Greek and Italian but why chance it. So yesterday we’re chatting with our neighbor George and he says “man, that celery looks good”. “That’s not celery, that’s parsley. It’s Italian parsley George, something you’re probably not familiar with.” So I walk out to the garden with him to gloat over how big the parsley was and he pulled off a leaf and started chewing it. “Hm, this Italian parsley has a celery flavor to it” I broke off a leaf and chomped down on it. Then I got down and looked closely at the plant. Celery. So the lesson to be learned is that in a 2” pot, it’s hard to distinguish italian parsley from celery. Maybe that’s why they developed the standard curly garnish parsley – so you could tell it was parsley not celery. I’m sure glad I wasn’t trying to defend it while we ate clams and celery over pasta.

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