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Celery, a household staple to some, an appetizer or snack to others, either way, this beloved vegetable has made its way into millions of households over the years. Celery has its roots in sixteenth century northern European history. Celery is related to anise, carrots, parsley and parsnips.
Celery is often sold in loose stalks and also pre-packaged celery hearts. Celery hearts are the inner ribs of the celery. Today celery is predominately grown domestically in California and Florida with many different varieties on the market, the most common being Pascal. A member of the carrot family, celery was first recorded as a plant in France in 1623 and was probably developed either there or in Italy.
Its seed was brought to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the 1850s from Scotland, and it became a commercial crop there.
Availability and Selection
Celery is available year round. Select celery that is compact in shape where the ribs feel firm and crisp and the leaves are green. Avoid celery that is bruised or discolored.
Storage and Preparation
Celery should be refrigerated in a plastic bag and placed in the crisper for up to two weeks. If the ribs are wilted, separate the ribs and place them in a bowl of ice water for several minutes before use.
Separate celery ribs and rinse thoroughly as dirt is often lodged between the ribs. To serve raw or in cooked dishes, simply cut to desire length.
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