Celery was first used as food in Italy in the Middle Ages.
White celery, which farmers grew away from the sunlight, was the most common variety, and it is still popular in Europe. A green-stemmed celery was developed in the United States in the 1940s and was successfully introduced into New Zealand in the 1960s. New Zealanders prefer celery to be bright green. Varieties are now available with little or no stringiness.
What to look for
Look for bunches with a good tight formation, leaves should be fresh and unwilted. Stems should be firm and crisp when snapped. Brown or cracked bunches should be avoided.
Refrigerate in plastic bags. Alternatively, refrigerate with the butt end in 2-3 cm of water, and change water daily.
How to prepare
Stalks and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Remove strings from older coarse stalks. Slice to size.
Ways to eat
Celery is popular raw as a snack, or with a dipping sauce. Add sliced celery to savoury dishes like stir fries, braises, stews, pies or soups. The leaves can be used in salads, soups, stocks, braises, stews or as a garnish. Use fresh young celery leaves from the centre of the bunch mixed with other leaves in a green salad. Stir fry sliced celery and drizzle with sesame oil.
Boil (in soup), braise, steam, stew, stir fry.
|Serving size: 1 stalk - 69.6g|
|Fat, total (g)||0.1||0.1%||0.2|
|- saturated (g)||trace||0%||trace|
|- sugars (g)||0.9||1%||1.3|
|Dietary fibre (g)||1.0||3%||1.4|
|Potassium (mg)||237||340||Contains Potassium|
|Calcium (mg)||26.4||3% RDI*||38|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.04||3% RDI*||0.06|
|Vitamin C (mg)||0.5||1% RDI*||0.7|
|Iron (mg)||0.07||0.6% RDI*||0.1|
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ
Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 10th Edition, Plant & Food Research - 2014
Celery contains potassium at a level of dietary significance. Carotenoids and flavonoids are the predominant phytonutrients in celery.
Offer whole and half bunches. Keep in humid, refrigerated conditions in order to retain freshness. Buy small quantities regularly and handle carefully. If wrapped in film, place celery sticks the same way up for uniform appearance. Use QR code on labels.
Store at 0ºC with relative humidity of 90-100%. Celery is ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing vegetables and fruits wherever possible.
Purchase celery with the New Zealand GAP logo.
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