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Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

Plant family

Apiaceae (parsley family).

Botanical synonyms



Probably Southern Europe or the Caucasus region.

Used plant part

Leaves. They are nearly always used fresh, but can be preserved by deep-freezing or by making a pesto -like preparation.

Sensoric quality

Sweet and aromatic, somewhat intermediate between parsley and anis. On other spices with a similar fragrance.

Main constituents

The plant contains only minor amounts of essential oil (0.3% in the fresh herb, 0.9% in the seeds); it contains methylchavicol (estragole) and hendecane (undecane).

Chervil flower cluster and unripe fruits


Chervil is popular in Central and Western Europe; the fresh leaves are chopped and added to soups, salads and fish dishes, much in the same way as parsley or coriander leaves. Herbal vinegar usually contains a few leaves of chervil.

The dried herb is less aromatic than the fresh, but many compositions of the French herbes de Provençe contain dried chervil.

In North European countries, chervil is often substituted by a related herb, cicely or Spanish chervil, which has a stronger, anis -like aroma.

Source :

European Masters Degree in Food Studies - an Educational Journey

Master in Food Safety Law is an initiative of Wageningen University, The Netherlands