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Dill vs. Parsley

August 20, 2014

This seems to be the week for unreasonable rants. The response I’ve gotten thus far to my tirade that mint chocolate chip ice cream should be white and pumpkin flavored things shouldn’t appear until October is a resounding “Who cares?”

It’s true, a bunch of you did weigh in on the green vs. white mint chip debate. And I really appreciated hearing more voices on the subject.

The answer, of course, to the above question is, “I care.” I do. Perhaps I spend too much time thinking about food. Heck, who am I kidding. I absolutely spend too much time thinking about food. Take fresh herbs for example. There is no reason to pit them against each other and suggest that parsley is better than dill. Each has its strength and role in the kitchen.

But parsley is totally better than dill. And dill, actually, is kinda disgusting.

Don’t get me wrong. In the right hands dill can be used to tremendous effect. ADS uses it in his Jewish grandmother’s chicken soup recipe. It’s the best chicken soup I’ve ever had. A little bit of dill in a pickle brine can be fine. But even there it can be overpowering.

A few weeks ago, I got to bring home a handful of dill from the CSA. To keep it fresh, we put the stems in a cup of water and covered the leaves with a plastic bag. Do you know what it did to thank us?

The dill stank up both the refrigerator and the freezer.

I’m not kidding. Even the ice cubes, which we make sure to cycle out of the freezer every couple of days, were redolent of dill for weeks after we tossed the herbs. I cannot tell you how many cocktails it ruined. The lingering funk of dill was so overpowering, that it drove me to buy boxes and boxes of baking soda in an attempt to rid our home of its aroma.

Parsley also happens to do a great job of brightening up a chicken soup. I’m not quite sure how it works with pickles, but parsley is at the core of a couple great raw sauces for grilled meats and vegetables. Of course there is chimichurri, but don’t forget the Italian salsa verde with all the gravitas that anchovies and capers bring to bear on this leafy herb. There is even the delightfully simple French persillade. If only I could get the kids to accept little bits of green on their food, I’d toss things in persillade all spring and summer long.

Just yesterday I was back at the CSA pickup. This week we were given the opportunity to take both a small handful of parsley and a small handful of dill. And even though I had not used up the parsley from last week’s pickup, I still went for another handful of the stuff.

But the dill, I could barely even bring myself to touch.

There is a basket at the CSA pickup for those items people don’t want to bring home with them. So I did grab my small handful of dill and placed it in the basket. But I wish I hadn’t. My hand smelled of the stuff for the rest of the day.

Seriously, who loves dill? Probably the same people who drink pumpkin beer in August and like their mint chip ice cream to be artificially green.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. theresa518 permalink
    August 20, 2014 8:27 am

    I left my dill in the bin….took one look at it and said no thanks! Then I went to Finnbar and enjoyed a blood orange pale ale instead of the 3 pumpkin beers they have on tap.

    • -R. permalink
      August 20, 2014 11:14 am

      Speaking of pumpkin beer – one of the worst errors a bar can make is to not thoroughly clean their lines after having a pumpkin beer on tap. That nasty shit stays in the lines forever, even after a complete douching. Pumpkin beer – yuck!

  2. August 20, 2014 9:19 am

    There I said it.
    My grandmother’s chicken soup was always chock full of dill, so it always makes me think of her; since she passed over a year ago I find myself going out of my way to buy dill just to have the smell lingering in my kitchen. There is no other rationale for me liking it.
    It is good with a yogurt sauce over salmon though. Parsley on the other hand is that stuff we all chomp on during Passover and I would never even consider using it any other time; it never seems to have a taste to me.

  3. August 20, 2014 9:49 am

    Parsley is that thing that every recipe calls for but almost no recipe seems to actually NEED, so most of it goes bad in my fridge every time I buy it. Dill at least has one use where it’s truly needed: Dill pickles.

  4. EPT permalink
    August 20, 2014 10:07 am

    Dill is a must have in stuffed grape leaves, can’t think of much else…oh Greek meatballs.

  5. Bob W. permalink
    August 20, 2014 10:46 am

    The missus makes a garlic/dill/lemon roast chicken that is one of my absolute favorite dishes in the world. The smell of dill = that dish = happy, happy me.

  6. August 20, 2014 11:03 am

    I grew dill this year. If it’s on the deck, it’s not in the fridge! But I really only use it for yogurt sauce for salmon.

  7. Annie permalink
    August 20, 2014 11:23 am

    Ah, come on! Think of your eastern european ancestors! ;)
    Dill with beets, with salmon, with cucumbers and yogurt, with.. vodka (

  8. August 20, 2014 1:44 pm

    There are only 3 things I like dill in, pickles, sour cream & dill cucumbers, and there’s a deviled egg recipe I have that contains a LITTLE bit. Other than that, eh. I love parsley. It brightens up everything.

  9. August 20, 2014 4:52 pm

    “Funk of dill”? Really? Stank up your freezer? I think somebody pulled the old switcheroo on the profussor. That’s not the dill I know and love.

  10. addiesdad permalink
    August 21, 2014 1:32 am

    Whither the pour over? So, I’m in San Fran and visit a coffe truck I thought would be on Fussys wheelhouse. No auto drip, just french press and pour over. I go for the pricey pour over with some wonderful Central American bean. And I don’t get it. The coffe was delicious but not what I was hoping for. Can it be the pour over needs to be an at home experience where I can bask on the aroma and ritual? It took 10 minutes for a good but not AWESOME cuppa. What’re your experiences with commercial pour overs?

  11. Grrrr permalink
    August 22, 2014 2:13 am

    I love dill. And cilantro. And any other pungent herb. You either love them or hate them. I love them. But a little goes a long way. Dried dill is rather mild. Dried cilantro doesn’t even taste like cilantro. The fresh versions of dill and cilantro are like a party in my mouth. I’ve never heard of anyone, until now, disliking dill. But I know many people who don’t like cilantro. It’s funny how everyone perceives flavors differently. I LOVE fresh dill, sparingly, in many dishes. First off, any protein salad such as egg salad, tuna or salmon salad and chicken salad. A little goes a long way. Pair it with the brightness of fresh lemon juice and the creaminess of mayo or yogurt and it’s a match made in heaven. The ultimate way I eat fresh dill is in a fresh garden salad with a simple vinaigrette along with finely chopped herbs such as chives, basil, thyme and parsley. The more herbs the better! I also always add dill to my fermented pickles. However, most recipes call for too much. 1 head of dill is good for an entire gallon of pickles. Most recipes call for too much. Again, a little goes a long way. I also love a fresh cucumber salad with thinly sliced red onions, sour cream and a bit of fresh dill. It’s also a fantastic accent to Borscht. And Pirogue with butter. And a bit snipped on top of fresh cured salmon served with cream cheese and capers
    Also, you may have gotten dill that was too old and was starting to pollinate. There’s a fine line between a fresh head of dill that is just right and one that still looks good but is producing pollen. That’s what results in the scent that gets everywhere.
    But then again, Pollenating or not, if you hate dill, you hate dill. Just as people who hate cilantro hate cilantro!

  12. Deedee permalink
    August 24, 2014 6:38 pm

    If I have a bit of fresh dill I chop it into my vinaigrette. Lovely to put on salad.

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