Parsley Root, Root Parsley

Petroselinum crispum, Radicosum Group

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Also Hamburg parsley, turnip-rooted parsley, parsnip-rooted parsley, and others (below)

Poor parsley root—snubbed for its pale, unassuming appearance. Its brisk, assertive personality is admired in places where seasons and simmering soups still reign but is not easily discerned by the American shopper, who sees parsley root as a pale carrot.

Parsley root, a native of Europe, has long scented the cooking of Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, and Russia—to name just a few countries. It has also been deemed the significant indicator of real Jewish chicken soup—at least in the opinion of some strong-minded types. Bert Greene, a beloved food writer, once chided me for neglecting to include “petoushka” among the names for root parsley: “Anyone who grew up in New York [he did; I did] should know that’s its real name and its real purpose in life is chicken soup,” he harumphed.