July 27, 2017

Celery

Celery is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae that has been cultivated as a vegetable since antiquity. Celery has a long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves. Celery seed is also used as a spice; its extracts are used in medicines.

HISTORY

Wild celery has been found at archaeological sites and mentioned in ancient writings, including Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey, but it isn’t until classical times when it is certain that celery was a cultivated crop.

Celery’s late arrival in the English kitchen is an end-product of the long tradition of seed selection needed to reduce the sap’s bitterness and increase its sugars.

In the 16th century, celery was cultivated in France and Italy and has since spread to other temperate parts of the world, including Ontario.

VARIETIES

  • In North America, commercial production of celery is dominated by the cultivar called ‘Pascal’ celery. Pascal varieties include:
    • Florida 683
    • Tall Utah 52-70
    • Picador
  • In Europe, another popular variety is celeriac (also known as celery root.
  • Leaf celery or Chinese celery, is a cultivar from East Asia that grows in marshlands.

celery

NUTRITION

1 serving of celery = 1 large stalk or 2 small stalks (approximately 85 g)

  • contains approximately 10 calories
  • source of Potassium, Fibre and Vitamin C

BUYING AND STORING

BUYING

  • Choose firm stems with thick unblemished ribs.
  • Leaves should be green and crisp.

STORING

  • Store celery in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for up to two weeks. Leave the ribs attached to the stalk until ready to use.
  • Celery should be well washed and trimmed of leaves and at the base.

POPULAR USES

  • eaten raw
  • chopped in tuna, egg or potato salads
  • as a garnish
  • cooked in soups, stews and casseroles
  • in stir-fry dishes
  • the leaves can be used in soups and salads

FUN FACTS

  • The Romans thought celery could prevent hangovers.
  • In the Dark Ages, wizards believed celery seeds could make them fly.
  • Celery can reach the height of 3.3 feet.

celery

RECIPES

Have a great celery recipe to share? Let us know and we’ll a link to it on this page!


SOURCES:

  • Wikipedia (July 2017). Celery. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celery
  • Foodland Ontario. Celery. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/foodland/food/celery
  • Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Nutrition Facts. Retrieved from http://www.cpma.ca/pdf/HealthNutrition/NFTENJuly2016.pdf
  • Tyler Herbst, Sharon. (2001). The New Food Lover’s Companion (3rd ed.). New York: Barron’s Educational Series.
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