Celery, which originated in the Mediterranean region, was largely renowned for its medical properties, which is why ancient people loved to plant it. Celery was the number one choice of ancient doctors and health specialists for curing maladies such as the flu, cold, and indigestion because of its potent oil and curable seeds. Celery was utilized as a flavoring herb and horse food in addition to being employed as a remedy for hazardous ailments.
As more individuals became aware of celery’s health benefits, the popularity of this basic green plant grew at breakneck speed. Celery bones have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs, indicating that the Egyptians regarded celery as a sacred plant. Celery was also utilized for accessorizing by women, who wore celery-made necklaces at their Nemean Games.
Celery did not become well recognized as an edible plant in France until the 1600s. It was first used by the Italians in the same way that the rest of the world now uses it. Celery, on the other hand, was bitter and strong to Italians. They discovered a way to de-intensify its flavor by blanching it. As a result, various varieties of celery emerged.
In the 1850s, an ironmaster named George Taylor imported celery seeds to Kalamazoo, Michigan. In one of his nearby farms, he grew the seeds. Taylor gave away the seeds for free at the Burdick House, where a ball party took place. This sparked people’s interest in celery, and output was at an all-time high in no time.
As a result, Kalamazoo was dubbed the “Celery Capital” during the time. Unfortunately, when a devastating blight struck the United States in the 1930s, celery production plummeted. California is currently the greatest celery grower, harvesting over 23,500 acres per year.
Celery is a versatile vegetable with several health benefits. Continue reading this blog post to learn about the various types of celery and their characteristics and benefits.
Apium graveolens, or homegrown celery, is excellent. It’s nothing like the stringy, tasteless stalks you can get at the supermarket. But did you know there are a variety of varieties to choose from?
I wouldn’t blame someone for believing that celery comes in only one or two varieties. I mean, they all seem to have the same appearance and flavor, right?
While each of the nine cultivars detailed below possesses the distinct savory flavor we associate with this vegetable, they do differ in several ways.
Celeriac, for example, is a variety of celery produced for its root that is gaining popularity in the United States. If you’re seeking to broaden your celery horizons, you might be curious about the different types of celery available.
Celery is now divided into three types: self-blanching or yellow (leaf celery), green or Pascal celery, and celeriac.
Green stalk celery is the most common choice in the United States, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. Originally, stalk celery had a proclivity for producing hollow, bitter stalks. In the 17th century, Italians began farming celery, and after years of domestication, they developed celery that produced sweeter, more firm stalks with a softer flavor. Celery grown in low temperatures and blanched lessens the vegetable’s disagreeable strong tastes, according to farmers. Celery Plants Come in a Variety of Shapes and Sizes. Stalk celery leaves are thinner than that of Pascal and are planted for their aromatic leaves and seeds.
Conquistador (Spanish for “conqueror”)
Try ‘Conquistador’ if you require a cultivar that will generate early stalks and march through the growing season. In warmer climates, this ‘Pascal’ hybrid grows in about 80 days, making it an ideal plant for impatient gardeners. You’ll have to wait about 115 days if you live in a cooler growth zone. Still, it’s not awful!
Slow to bolt, ‘Conquistador’ provides crisp, delicious upright stalks. It’s heat-resistant and can even withstand some drought.
It doesn’t self-blanch, so if you want pale, almost-white stalks, you’ll have to blanch it yourself.
If you purchase Conquistador, you will be able to savor the crisp, clean flavor of celery. To guarantee that it grows effectively, keep the planting area very moist and apply compost or fertilizer on a daily basis.
The cultivar ‘Giant Red’ is a 19th-century heirloom variety. This cold-hardy cultivar is popular in England, with reddish-purple stalks that develop a delicate pink tint when cooked.
It has a robust flavor that is a little stronger than the green types. What a great way to add color and spice to your dishes!
Make sure you leave enough room in your garden for ‘Giant Red,’ since it grows to be a whopping two feet tall. This beautiful cultivar matures in approximately 85 days, despite its height.
Pascal the Golden
‘Golden Pascal,’ also known as ‘Winter King,’ or ‘Pascal Giant,’ is a French heirloom cultivar. This variety, which was introduced to the United States by Livingstone Seeds in 1913, has yellow-green, sensitive stalks up to 20 inches tall. ‘Golden Pascal’ is a fictional character. ‘Golden Pascal’ can withstand chilly temperatures and does not require blanching. After 115 days, the stingless, mild-flavored stalks are ready to harvest. Amazon is a good place to look for seeds.
This heirloom cultivar was first introduced by Johnson and Stokes Seed Company in 1886. ‘Golden Self-Blanching’ takes care of the blanching for individuals who appreciate the flavor of celery but don’t want to deal with it at home. While the stalks are bright green for much of the season, they develop a gorgeous golden color in the fall, signifying that the tastes are softening into a subtle yet delightful crunch. In around 105 days, thick, juicy stalks with deep ribs develop, and the plant reaches over two feet in height.
Tozer Iberica in Spain developed the ‘Monterey’ hybrid cultivar, which is an early-maturing hybrid cultivar. It’s resistant to bolting and ideal for growers in hotter areas. ‘Monterey,’ a commercially grown cultivar in southern Europe, is the top variety in Spain. In just 80 days, this strong grower will produce tasty, dark-green 12-inch stalks.
Nan Ling Cutting
Apium graveolens var. secalinum, popularly known as Chinese celery or leaf celery, is primarily grown in East Asia. ‘Nan Ling Cutting’ develops thin, light-green stalks that can be cut from day 60 to day 90 of growth, rather than huge, thick, tight stalks. If you live in a climate where summers are short, this is the cultivar for you. In addition, it adds a delicate savory flavor to Asian dishes, soups, and salads. Remember to add the fragrant leaves into a salad as well! True Leaf Market has a range of seed packet sizes available.
In 1953, this popular heirloom cultivar was released into the market. ‘Tall Utah’ produces 12-inch stalks that are crisp and stringless. It’s ideal for nibbling straight from the garden (with peanut butter or ranch, of course). Depending on the climate in your area, it takes 100-125 days to develop. Eden Brothers sells seed packets and even 1-pound bundles of seeds. With deeper ribs and a sweeter, fuller flavor, there’s also an “enhanced” version of ‘Tall Utah.’ This stringless stalk won’t overwhelm even the pickiest of eaters.
This extra-sweet, extra-crunchy hybrid cultivar grows up to 18 inches tall! You can also spread the seeds 6-8 inches apart rather than 12 inches apart, resulting in a larger, heartier harvest. Depending on the climate in your area, it takes 100-125 days to develop.
‘White Plume’ is the cultivar for you if you enjoy poetic plant names. The plant itself has compact stalks capped with a plume of lacy, light green leaves; thus, the name isn’t simply for literary purposes. This tiny heirloom cultivar, also known as ‘Henderson’s White Plume,’ was introduced in 1884 by Peter Henderson & Co Seed Company and grows up to 12 inches tall. It’s one of the oldest self-blanching varieties, with a crisp, sweet flavor.
It was one of the most popular celery cultivars in the United States in the nineteenth century. Celery was not only used in the cuisine at the period, but it was also used to decorate tables, allowing guests to view the stalks and leaves in their entire delicate splendor.
You’ll taste a piece of history if you can get your hands on seeds. However, eat your stalks fast since this lovely variety has one drawback: it only keeps for a few days after harvest.
Celery varieties produce gradually from seed, but there are more kinds to pick from than there are in store grown plants. You can buy celery starter plants that mature faster than seed starter types for a head start. You may plant celery at the start of spring in order to get a summer harvest and in the summer for a December harvest. To collect energy from the sun, make sure the leaves are sticking out of the top.
Celery Varieties That Self-Blanch
Celery that self-blanches does not need to be blanched before harvesting. These variants, sometimes known as leaf celery or Apium graveolens var. secalinum, are closely related to the herb smallage, a forerunner of celery cultivated in Old World gardens.
They can withstand more heat than stalk celery. Gardeners often cultivate self-blanching celery in blocks rather than rows when growing it at home. A heart of creamy, whitish inner stalks grows around a dark green outer stalk.
Although green celery can be blanched for a softer flavor, blanched celery is less nutritious because it is not exposed to sunlight before harvesting.
Because many gardeners harvest a few stalks at a time as needed rather than waiting to harvest the entire plant at once, self-blanching celery is also known as cutting celery.
The robust flavor of self-blanching celery provides a fresh twist to salads and side dishes. With this Waldorf Slaw recipe, you can put a distinctive spin on coleslaw.
Celery is a healthy, low-calorie ingredient to soups and stews, and it is one of the “Holy Trinity” of Creole and Cajun cuisine, along with bell peppers and onions. You may make jambalaya with your local crop or eat the crispy stalks right from the garden – with peanut butter, of course!