First, no Your Examiner is not mistaken.
Humble as it is, National Celery Month, is this month.
Next month – April – is “Fresh Celery Month.”
One of the first things you learn about celery (after finding that it gets celebrated in two separate months) is that it takes a long time to grow.
Celery seeds may take as long as a month to sprout in colder climates, and the mature celery isn’t ready to harvest for 120-140 days.
We in Florida are fortunate. With such a long growing season, celery farmers can harvest several celery crops in a year.
The last of the winter celery usually comes in during March, and that gives farmers a breather before they have to put the next crop in in April.
More about celery
Hard as it is to believe, that crunchy green stuff we fill with peanut butter and pimiento cheese and dip in ranch dressing with buffalo wings is one of the foundations of Western cuisine.
Combined with carrot and onion, celery is the third component of the mirepoix (pronounced /mĭr-pwah/).
The mirepoix is the basis for many common foods, like chicken noodle soup, beef stew and pasta sauce.
For more information about cooking with celery, see the list pages.
Because of its high water content, high fiber content and mild distinctive flavor, celery has added tooth and taste to cooking since at least the 9th century BC.
That’s surprising because celery can be a hard plant to grow, if only because it needs a good deal of water to grow well.
It doesn’t seem suited to grow in dry climates without access to flood irrigation, but it is nonetheless a cash crop in the Near and Middle East and THE drier climate zones in North America.
- Historians Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf note that celery leaves were used in garlands deocrating tomb of King Tut of Egypt, who died in 1323 BC. They were discovered when the tomb was opened in the 1920s.
- Evidence in ancient world literature all but proves that ancient Egyptians, Romans and ancient Greeks ate celery.
- Most celery grown commercially in North America is of the Pascal variety.
- 75% of the celery grown in the US comes from California.
- Celery is the 6th most purchased vegetable in the United States.
- When you buy celery at the store, look for the heads with the darkest green stalks as they have the most nutrients. If all you see is brown leaves and limp stalks, buy celery seed instead.
- At about 6 calories per stalk, celery is a great choice to help loose weight and maintain a healthy waistline because it’s a great source of fiber, vitamins and potassium.
- Celery is touted as a "negative calorie food" because the body burns more calories while digesting celery than it extracts from the celery itself.
- Although most of us only eat the stalks, the entire celery plant is edible – leaves, roots, seeds and all.
- And celery is commonly grow for its seeds, which are actually small fruit. Can’t find any fresh celery? Use seeds instead. You’ll get just a bit more celery flavor but none of the tooth or dietary fiber.
- Celery salt – made from salt, dried celery leaves and celery seeds – is used as a seasoning in cocktails like Bloody Mary, on the Chicago-style hot dog, and in spice blends like Old Bay Seasoning®.
Remember – deviled eggs piped into fresh celery stalks and sprinkled with paprika are not only festive but also very apropos of Easter, which is Mar. 31.
Take the hint.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: email@example.com