First documented in 16th century Austria, parsnip chervil was only introduced into France in 1846. Despite hearty recommendations, this vegetable has never really been successful in Europe; farmers instinctively grow the easiest and most profitable crops.
However, although it is difficult to grow, this member of the carrot family has a delicate, sweet-tasting root, and is grown by some market gardeners in a few regions of France.
Since 1980, by selecting the best cultivars, various enthusiasts have managed to produce varieties that are easier to grow. Varieties like Altan, Véga and Doléane (a tribute to the town of Dôle, one of its strongholds), are now set to make parsnip chervil a “standard” vegetable.