Blog / 2021 / Art Is Like Parsley

May 22, 2021

Somewhere along the way, parsley got pushed to the side of the plate, relegated to the role of garnish in many people’s minds, despite the fact that it’s full of important nutrients. It’s especially maddening to see this herb dismissed as mere decoration considering that it’s in all our most-loved recipes, doing the vital work of brightening the flavor without adding an acidic element and accomplishing it all without looking for praise or thanks.

Still, in some ways, it makes total sense. I mean, this is exactly the way society treats art too.

Like parsley, art is ubiquitous, essential, and looked down on as a symbol for frivolity.

If I had my way, art would be like the parsley in my Maman’s tabbouleh, which is a leafy mass of lemony “yum” spot-dotted with fresh diced tomato and chewy bulgur grains. It’s 90% parsley and 100% delicious. Every time I taste her tabbouleh, I’m reminded that the things we trivialize as ornamental often the very things that affect us the most.

painting of some parsley
Gwenn Seemel
Parsley
2020
acrylic, colored pencil, and marker on paper
9 x 6 inches
(For prints of Parsley, go here.)

My Maman’s cooking is on my mind at the moment because, in just a month, I will be eating it. I’m driving across America in order to go visit my parents in Oregon for the first time in a year and a half.

(And before anyone feels compelled to school me: I know flying is supposed to be relatively safe, but, if you’re telling me that you’d be comfortable spending seven hours squished up next to someone who’s refusing to wear a mask properly, all I can say is that I’m happy for you.)

I’m excited to be able to celebrate my family’s full vaccination against COVID, and I’m thrilled to be doing it with tabbouleh!


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