Saturday, May 8, 2021

History of parsley

Parsley has been used for thousands of years and has become an essential ingredient in cooking. Parsley has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, although it was first used in medicine and not food.

Pedanius Dioscorides (100 A.D.), a Greek physician of the early Roman Empire, is said to have given the plant its name, ‘Petioselunum crispum’.

The botanical name Petroselinum is derived from the Greek words ‘petros’, meaning stone (it grows on rocky hillsides) and ‘selinon’ (parsley or celery). In the sixteenth century parsley was known as A. hortense, hortense meaning gardener in Latin.

The ancient Greeks and Romans did not eat parsley. However, they did grow it in their gardens as a border plant, and thought it to be wonderful fodder for the chariot horses.

Parsley is mentioned in Greek historical records as being used for cheering sportsmen by wearing crowns made of parsley; wreaths made from parsley were also used to adorn graves. The ancient Greeks believed that parsley originated from the blood of Archemorus, the ‘Forerunner of Death’.

The Romans began using parsley as early as 3rd century BC. Its oldest uses were medicinal, fresh or in lotions as first aid for insect bites, as a mosquito repellent, a mild laxative, diuretic and treatment for infections of the eye, ears and teeth. Parsley was also used in Roman rituals. There are reports of it being sprinkled over dead bodies to remove the smell too.

The practice of using parsley as a garnish actually has a long history that can be traced back to the civilization of the ancient Romans. While it is uncertain when parsley began to be consumed as a seasoning, it seems to be sometime in the Middle Ages in Europe.

It is mentioned as one of the plants in the gardens of Charlemagne and Catherine de Medici, and there is a rumor that parsley was popularized in France by Catherine de Medici.

Parsley was introduced into England from Sardinia in 1548. European colonists brought parsley to the United States in the 17th century, and it continues to be a popular garden vegetable nationwide.
History of parsley

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