• The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World

CHERVIL ( Anthriscus cerefolium )
Names in Other Languages:

English Garden chervil, French parsley
French Cerfeuil
German Kerbel, Gartenkerbel, Französische Petersilie
Spanish Perifollo, Cerafolio
Italian Cerfoglio
Turkish Frenk maydanozu
Japanese Shiyaku, Chabiru

FAMILY: Apiaceae

ORIGIN:   Southern Europe or the Caucasus region. It is known in the regions north of the Mediterranean.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Chervil is a hardy annual, grows to a height of 25– 70 cm and width of 30 cm. The lacy, light green leaves are opposite, compound and bipinnate, they are sub-divided again into opposite and deeply cut leaf lets.

Chervil leaf


USEFUL PARTS:

Leaves. It is generally used fresh but it can be preserved by deep freezing or by making a pesto-like preparation.


SENSORY PROPERTIES:

Sweet and aromaric. It has an aroma similar to parsley and anise. Its taste and fragrance fill the senses slowly and subtly.

MAIN CONSTITUENTS:

The plant contains only a small amount of essential oil (0.3% in the fresh herb, 0.9% in the seeds) with methyl chavicol (estragol) as the main constituent.

MAIN USES IN FOOD PROCESSING:

Chervil is used to flavour eggs,fish, chicken and light sauces and dressing. It combines with mild cheeses and is a herby addition to herb butters. It is an effective seasoning to foods in cooking. Its whole springs make a delicate garnish. Blanched springs of chervil are used in soups. Chervil’s flavour can lost easyly by drying the herb or from too much heat. So it should be added at the end of cooking or sprinkled on in its fresh and raw state. Preserving chervil in white wine vinegar can keep its flavour. Chervils flavour is potent so that litte else is enough to add foods. It is used widely in French cooking.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES:  

Chervil has been used for several medicinal purposes by herbalists throughout history. Chervil drink has been used as an expectorant, a stimulant, a dissolver of congealed blood, a healer of eczema, a digestive, and a cure for high blood pressure, gout, kidney stones, pleurisy, dropsy and menstrual problems. Of these properties, the most persistently recognized to this day has been the ability to lower blood pressure, but no clinical studies support this or any of the claims.

A combination of chervil, dandelion and watercress rejuvenates the body from the deficiency brought on by winter and lack of fresh greens, because of all their vitamins and minerals.

REFERENCES and SOURCES:

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Anth_cer.html

Peter, K.V.,2004,Handbook of Herbs and Spices, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge. p140-144.