Parsley in General and As a Plate Garnish

In today’s culinary world one of the most used and abused ingredients is parsley. It seems to be the go-to plate garnish for lack of anything better. I think the reason I have a problem with the use of parsley is because it is like picking the easy road in life. It isn’t the road less traveled, it is the highway.

Don’t get me wrong, parsley does have its uses, acceptable uses at that. Ever need something green? Parsley is wonderfully green! Ever need something with a “grassy” aroma to pair with a wine perhaps? Oh, and who can forget those times for some reason you need a garnish really fast and parsley seems to be right at hand? Oh yeah, its cheap and easy!

I just feel guilty because even though the highway gets me where I need to go in a hurry, and it’s the easiest way to travel, it leaves something to be desired. To me it is almost as if I would be twice as inspired to create more innovative and applicable garnishes if I never knew parsley existed. Let’s face it folks, parsley does not go with everything, yet sometimes we treat it as though it does. How many of us as chefs know better and yet continue to use parsley as a garnish on everything? It’s like doing something you know is wrong but are pretty sure you can get away with, and yet still feel guilty about. Oh yeah people, its that bad.

So the next time you go to reach for that parsley please, do us all a favor. Remember how to brunoise? Make a lemon crown? A sprig of rosemary anyone? Anything that you can think of to stay creatively inspired, and to hopefully brake the monotony that is garnishing with parsley. I hope I have done a public service here. I certainly feel better after admitting my own problem with parsley. Liberated somehow. Just kidding. Kinda. Seriously though, try some other garnishes.

Copyright 2009 Garth Fournier

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