Like most parts of the human body, the tongue is amazing. It allows us to speak, sing, kiss, and, arguably best of all, or at least most essential, to eat. Not just eat, but to enjoy eating. To savor it. To understand what it is that we are eating.

Image result for the human tongue taste buds

It achieves this by the use of five tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami.

Salty: The mineral sting of flavor’s foundation.

Sweet: A bit of luxury, a bit of fun.

Sour: That sharp acid burn of depth and complexity.

Bitter: The one that saves our lives.

Umami (savory): The carnivorous urge––your tongue kills.

The ideal meal finds a balance between these five tastes; a feat so difficult, the ability to consistently achieve it is cause for wealth and celebrity.Image result for Anthony BourdainThat guy was cool. 

Today I want to focus on one particular and shockingly overlooked tool in the constant search for beautifully balanced repast.Image result for parsley                                                              Italian parsley

Humble parsley.

If you are anything like me, for too long I regarded parsley to be nothing more than a sprig of annoying salad some lunatic was always sticking on top of my sandwich on the side of my plate.

Why? Related image

Well, for no good reason. Those people WERE lunatics. Or at least dopes.

Turns out, parsley is delicious!

Falling into the bitter range of tastes, it adds that difficult aspect to a dish without making it taste like someone dumped a head of lettuce in your chicken tikka, or mushroom soup, or roasted garlic potatoes, or grilled carrots, or…you get the idea.

Image result for great recipes with parsley

Parsley is also extremely healthy.

A chemoprotective food, parsley helps inhibit the formation of tumors in the human body. It is a source of anti-oxidants, folic acid, and vitamin C, which means it’s good for cardiovascular health and protects against arthritis. Image result for super food

So, next time your local deli guy drops that waxy twig of leafy green on top of your turkey club…don’t throw it away.

Put in your mouth, and ask for more.