Chervil (Anthriscus Cerefolium) is one of the four components of fines herbes, the others being tarragon, parsley and chives. It differs from most herbs in as much as it is just as easy to grow indoors as out and when grown in the garden prefers dappled shade to full sun. Too much sun will impair the herb’s delicate flavour and make it bolt and go to seed.
There are two varieties of chervil, one plain, and the other curly. The latter is generally agreed to have an inferior taste.
Chervil is a self-seeding annual that, with its long taproot, doesn’t take to transplanting, germinates quickly, and is best sown directly and frequently (to ensure a constant supply) into the chosen location – ideally under a deciduous tree that affords good shade. Chervil is a must in a complete herb garden. It is a difficult herb to find fresh in the stores and when bought loses its freshness and flavour very quickly. Chervil is readily available as a dried herb, but, as with parsley, its delicate flavour is lost. If you dry your own, do so quickly in an oven rather than using the customary method of a dark warm room. A better way of preserving chervil is to mix with butter and then refrigerate or freeze.
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