Flat leaf parsley - are French and Italian the same thing?

I know that curled parsley is different from the flat but is Italian flat leaf parsley exactly the same as French flat leaf parsley?  If yes then why the different names? 

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,492

    Yes, same stuff.  Why two names?  For the same reason I have 3 - Robert, Rob and Bob;  It depends on who is doing the talking! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 884

    Hi alicef, here are my findings...

    - Petroselinum crispum with ruffled leaves aka "curly parsley"

    - Petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum with flat leaves aka "flat-leaved parsley" / "Italian parsley".

    There is no such thing as "French flat leaf parsley". What is sometimes called "French parsley" is in fact a different species, Anthriscus cerefolium aka "common chervil". But chervil also exists in a 'curled' variety.

    As usual with plants, the only valid reference is the scientific (Latin) name. The same common name can apply to 2 different species and the same species can have quite a few different common names. The extra advantage of using the scientific name is that it's international. So using scientific names for plants on a gardening site does not mean being pedantic (as I've sometimes been reproached with), on the contrary, it makes things more clear. Of course, asking for a bunch of Petroselinum crispum at the greengrocer's market stall, that would be pedantic ... and ridiculous.image

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,492

    The simple fact is that lots of folk (perhaps the majority) in the UK call flat leaved parsley 'French parsley'.  The rest call it 'Italian parsley' and the 'other rest' just call it 'flat leaved parsley'! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you all for your replies! 

    I had been avoiding sowing my Italian parsley seed in favour of the packet labelled French as somewhere I had read somewhere a chef who stated that French had a better flavour and was less tough than Italian!  Now I shall sow the Italian with abandon knowing that they are the same!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,753

    I find the 'toughness' of parsley depends hugely on how it's grown - grown quickly and harvested while young, it's lovely and tender - grown more slowly and harvested when it's older and darker green and it's slightly tougher - but as I'm usually using it chopped, or as an aromatic in a stock, the difference is negligible.

    image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 884

    More findings... On the RHS site selling seeds http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/seeds/herb-seed/plcid.294/plcid.338/start.2/ they offer these:

    - parsley 'Extra Triple Curled' / curled parsley

    - French parsley / flat leaved parsley

    - chervil

    No mention of 'Italian' parsley.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Now, which is better ?  The one you like, that grows well in your garden.  Surely it is all a matter of personal taste.

    i once heard a very knowledgable wine buff say the best wine is the one you like, let us not be snobbish.

  • Pete8Pete8 Posts: 2,917

    I always grow flat-leaf, I think the flavour is better and it's easier to deal with. The curly stuff takes too much chewing

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,752
    Pete8 says:

    I always grow flat-leaf, I think the flavour is better and it's easier to deal with. The curly stuff takes too much chewing

    See original post

     I get enough exercise anyway without chewing that curly parsley,  Pete!  image

    Flat leaf is always preferable I think - does that make me a snob?  image

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • Pete8Pete8 Posts: 2,917

    Only if it make me one too image

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