Sweet Valley Italian Parsley

Why use flat-leafed parsley instead of curly-leafed parsley

By Anna Randall

There are two main cultivars of parsley, curly-leafed parsley and flat-leafed parsley (Italian). Most recipes will specify which it calls for, however if it doesn’t, or you don’t have the right one available, a fair question is can you substitute one for the other?

In short, yes, but that doesn’t mean they are equal in flavor.  Italian Parsley is considered the ‘true culinary’ variety, while Curly Parsley is used more for garnish, with less flavor, and sometimes depending on the age and how it is grown it can taste bitter.  Italian Parsley’s robust flavor and nice, smooth texture is a culinary delight and is the variety that would be used in most restaurants for cooking. 

In the home kitchen, Curly Parsley is still more widely used, but as more home chefs learn the difference and experience the flavor of Italian Parsley, they, too, prefer it over curly.

Both parsleys are packed full of nutrients and can be used to substitute each other.  When substituting remember the strength of the flavors are different so start with a little and add to taste.

And remember Fresh is Best!