Celery seeds are light brown to khaki in colour with a penetrating, haylike aroma reminiscent, not surprisingly, of freshly cut celery stalks and with a strong, bitter, warm, lingering, and penetrating astringent flavour. The seeds are gathered from the ancient, hardy marsh plant known as smallage or wild celery (Apium graveolens). Celery seeds marry perfectly with tomato and are essential to mixed vegetables juices. Many popular commercial spice blends for poultry and meat rely on celery seed.
Celery is part of the “Holy Trinity” used in Cajun cooking, along with bell-peppers and onion. It is also a primary ingredient, along with carrots and onion, in the reknowned Mirepoix-base used in French cuisine. The dried or young fresh leaves of cultivated celery sold as celery flakes can be added to salads, sandwiches, and soups for a mild celery flavour.
- Other Names
- Aipo (Portuguese); ajmoda (Hindi); apio (Spanish); céleri (French); chin or kan-tsai (Chinese); karafs (Arabic); kin chai (Thai); sedano (Italian); selderij (Dutch); sellerie (German); serori (Japanese); smallage; syel’ derey (Russian)
- Because of their tiny size, celery seeds are generally used whole, and it is best to purchase them in that form. Ground celery seed quickly loses its aromatic notes, leaving a bitter flavour in their place. Celery salt is made of 3 parts salt and 2 parts ground celery seed, and the blend may include herbs such as parsley and dill.
Use celery salt in Bloody Marys and to season roast beef, roast pork, and meatloaf.
Add celery seed to the mayonnaise dressing for coleslaw or tuna, turkey, chicken, or egg salad.
Season the boiling liquid for hard-shell crabs or shrimp with either celery seed or celery salt.
Category: Spices and Herbs
Sub Category: Spice
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