So I'm at Shaw's the other day and I see this stuff called Gourmet Garden Parsley Herb Blend, and it's parsley in a tube, I kid you not. Like finely-chopped leaf-filled toothpaste. It was marked down to 60 cents, so how the hell could I resist?
When I got it home, I squeezed some out and tasted it. It tasted like - suprise! - parsley. Really salty parsley. The front label calls it "Parsley Herb Blend," but the ingredients panel gives the real scoop on just what the blend consists of:
Parsley, Dextrose, Whey (milk), Canola Oil, Sodium Lactate, Salt, Glycerine, Sodium Ascorbate to help protect flavor, Citric Acid to promote color retention, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbic Acid to promote color retention.
Ah. Salt plus two sodium compounds - that certainly explains the salty taste.
I made stuffed peppers that evening, and thought it would be the ideal time to try it out. I mixed the rice, ground beef, and minced onion for the filling and added the seasoning, which included a big squeeze of the parsley. It looks like goose shit.
It worked into the mix fairly evenly, and the saltiness got absorbed and distributed throughout the batch without any problems. With the exception of the really fine cut (much tinier than I ever cut fresh herbs myself) and, of course, the huge list of non-parsley ingredients, there really wasn't a big difference between Tube Parsley and natural leaf parsley.
And that right there is why I probably won't ever buy this stuff when it isn't at a clearance price. Fresh parsley is pretty easy to handle, and is already fairly inexpensive. There is no percieved value for me in having parsley mixed with oil, sugar, and salt ready to squeeze into food, expecially because I'm not so lazy that I can't take a minute or two to chop it myself.