Parsley is slightly peppery and anise-like, but it also tastes "fresh," according to VegetarianTimes.com. The herb is described as "mildly bitter" that balances flavors of dishes as stated by SimplyRecipes.com. Parsley is in the same family as other herbs, such as anise, caraway, cumin, cilantro, dill and fennel.
Parsley is high in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and iron. One-half cup of parsley is 11 calories. The green plant has narrow stems with two or three small leaves at the end similar in size to a dime or nickel. Parsley goes well with salad, soups, stews and salsa.
Parsley originated in Greece more than 2,000 years ago. The word is Greek for "rock celery" and was used as a medicinal plant before southern Europeans began eating parsley as a garnish. The herb gained popularity in the rest of Europe in the Middle Ages when Charlemagne grew the plant on his estate. Curly parsley and Italian parsley are the two most common varieties found in the United States.
The benefits of parsley are plentiful. In addition to an herb that adds savory flavors to dishes, parsley also freshens breath, adds antioxidants to a diet, provides folic acid for heart health, helps digest food and protects against rheumatoid arthritis.