We already have the tarragon, chives, and parsley. If we unite the chervil, what do we form? Very simple, the perfect quartet called fine herbs. Chervil is from the parsley family and is sometimes visually confused.
Our nose is infallible, distinguishing its unmistakably aniseed aroma. We encourage you to try its cultivation.
Fines herbes or fine herbs is what best defines this aromatic plant belonging to the Umbelliferae family , such as celery.
These four fine herbs have been and are one of the best-known mixtures worldwide from French cuisine. Also widely used to give a fine and special aromatic touch to soups, creams, stews, forming an essential part of many butters with herbs.
CHERVIL CULTIVATION RECOMMENDATIONS
From a climatic point of view , what do the four fine herbs have in common? The weather. Obviously, the famous mixture of herbs must have been made in similar climates where they can be found in the wild without difficulty.
For this reason, parsley , chives , tarragon and finally chervil come from not too dry climates and from wooded areas, slopes and hedges. In France it is very common to find it on these sites. However, in the Mediterranean area we will not find it except for exceptions.
This does not mean that we cannot cultivate it. If it is grown in hot and too dry places, it is advisable to look for a semi-shaded place rather than full sun since it is very possible that it will not hold and also glean too quickly.
WHAT IS THE BEST SOIL FOR CHERVIL?
Similar to chives or parsley. It requires a light, moist soil, very rich in humus, fresh and well drained. The only difference with chives can be found perhaps in the pH whose best range is between 6 and 7.
HOW TO WATER
An aspect that we must not neglect. It needs a relatively constant humidity in the soil. Hence, the soil must have a good structure and not puddle. In general, in the hottest months it is usually watered once every 2 or 3 days, depending on the direct sun or it is in a semi-shaded area.
BEWARE OF THE SPIKE
It is a very precocious plant. It blooms very early and tends to lead quickly in hot and dry conditions . This forces us to be vigilant since the optimal time for harvesting its leaves is just before flowering, as happens with many medicinal and aromatic plants.
Due to the spike, speed of growth and flowering, it is recommended to do staggered direct sowings from March to September approximately with time intervals of 2 or 3 weeks between sowings. In this way we will enjoy fresh chervil at its optimal moment for a longer time.
CONSERVATION AND CONSUMPTION OF CHERVIL
As we mentioned a few days ago in the table of conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants , chervil cannot be dried since it loses all its aromatic properties. Freezing is the most suitable and possible preservation method for this aromatic.
Regarding consumption, it is a plant more used for its culinary than medicinal qualities . It has them (diuretic, tonic, stimulant, stomachic….), But they are not very prominent and as there are others with more and more intense active ingredients, chervil has remained more in the kitchen than in the pharmacy.
A recommendation about its use in the kitchen: Always add at the end of preparing a dish. The heat completely destroys its aromas and will only add color. It could even give bitter flavors in stronger thermal processes such as cooking.