Although parsley comes in many varieties, the most common
two are curly and flatleaf. Both varieties are sold in bunches
whose sprigs should be perky and dark green. Avoid any wilting
or browning parley.
Curly parsley is exactly
as it's name implies: curly. Or at least the leaves at the
end of it's sprigs are. It is often chopped and used in dips,
soup, pastas and fish dishes, but is often used for color
contrast as much as it is for it's peppery flavor. Curly parsley
is also used frequently as a garnish. Because it has a high
chlorophyll content, it can be eaten raw as a breath freshener.
Flatleaf or Italian
parsley is also found in sprigs, but it's leaves are
flat. Flatleaf is easily confused with cilantro, so don't
be fooled. Flatleaf parsley has pointed tips, whereas cilantro
leaves are round at the tips. Flatleaf parsley, may be a little
harder to find than it's cousin, curly parsley, but should
be available in most grocery stores. Italian parsley is often
chopped and used in, you guessed it, Italian cuisine.
Parsley can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
It is best kept (after washing in cold water) wrapped in a
paper towel and then placed in a plastic bag or container.