Everything you wanted to know about celery in a blog post!
Ok, not really…..
Yeah, I know. Celery, so boring right? No! Not at all! On my way to work this morning the DJ on my radio station made a mistake and said, “Forget it! I’m just going to eat a piece of celery!” and proceeded to munch away at it’s crunch goodness on the air.
So when I saw that today is National Celery Day, I thought it must be fate and I have to talk about celery! How many of you remember the grade school science experiment of putting a rib of celery in colored water and watching the water travel up through the celery? And, the next day when the leaves had turned colors too? How cool!
I can remember my mom trying to get me to eat celery filled with peanut butter (’cause I was not such a good eater) and I remember picking it out of the dressing at Thanksgiving. Travel with me through time to my early culinary school days. One of our first cooking labs focused greatly on knife skills. And, let me tell you, we were not very good! What did we have to practice our chopping skills on? Celery! and carrots and onions. You can guess what came next, making stock.
Fast forward to my early catering days when I had a lady “help” me by removing all of the strings from the celery on my veggie tray. I can tell you, I was not going to take the time to do that! Now, looking back to the many veggie trays, soups, stocks, dressings and casseroles I have made over the years, I see the value in this culinary standard.
Doing a little research, I’ve learned a few interesting things about celery.
- Celery can reach a height of 3.3 feet
- Celery was used as a “bouquet of flowers” to reward athletes in Ancient Greece
- There is a town called Celeryville, OH founded by celery farmers
- The ancient Romans wore celery wreaths during a night of drinking to avoid experiencing a hangover the next morning. Did this work? No idea. Anybody willing to try it out?
- The darker the stalk of celery, the stronger the flavor will be
In my culinary school days, we were all tasked with making a soup and had to do a blind draw on which soup we would make. One of my fellow students drew Cream of Celery and I thought, “Ugh! How boring!”. But, to my surprise, he made a delicious and beautiful soup garnished with bias cut thin slices of celery.
What do you do with celery? Here’s a few interesting recipes including…. celery soda? Yep! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/celery-recipe-raw-braised_n_2536087.html