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Celery is a green vegetable. For the root vegetable, see celery root. For the spice, see celery seed.


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Celery comes in bunches of long, light green stalks attached together at the base and topped by green leaves.[1][2] As you get to the center of the bunch, the stalks and leaves get smaller and paler. Each stalk is curved, watery, and very crunchy,[3] with long stringy fibers running from top to bottom. The flavor of celery is slightly bitter but characteristically aromatic.

Selection and storage

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Look for celery bunches that are tightly packed, firm, and not droopy or rubbery. Avoid woody, bruised, or damaged-seeming stalks.[2][4] The leaves, if present, should look fresh and not wilted. Once home, store celery in the fridge, loosely wrapped in plastic to prevent dryness but avoid rot.[4] If the stalks get droopy, try reviving them by placing stem-down in a glass of water.[4]


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Prepare the stalks by separating them and slicing off the very bottoms. Because many people find the strings unpleasant to eat, they can be dealt with in a couple ways. The first way is to snap the bottom and pull each string out individually. Alternatively, peeling the exterior works to expose and remove them.[1] If you don't want to remove them entirely, slicing the stalks crosswise shortens the fibers and makes them less obtrusive.

Celery can be eaten raw or cooked, on its own or in other dishes. When raw, it is most appreciated for the crunchy texture it contributes.[5] As such, it is often a part of crudité platters, eaten with dips, or incorporated into fresh salads.[3] In cooked dishes, it primarily contributes aromatic flavor, as in its use to make broth and stock—even older celery whose texture is less appealing can be used to make a good stock.[3][5] It can also be braised or stir-fried.[3][5] The leaves can be used for garnish or as an herb, somewhat like parsley.


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  1. a b Gisslen, Wayne (2015-03-12). Essentials of Professional Cooking, 2nd Edition. Wiley Global Education. ISBN 978-1-119-03072-0.
  2. a b Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  3. a b c d Thaler, Maximus; Safferstein, Dayna (2014-09). A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything. Quarry Books. ISBN 978-1-59253-928-4. {{cite book}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. a b c López-Alt, J. Kenji (2015-09-21). The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-24986-6.
  5. a b c Ruhlman, Michael (2008). The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen. Black Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-86395-143-2.