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When did celery stop being celery-coloured?

butterchicken2nan Apr 15, 2007 07:12 PM

I seem to remember, growing up in Scotland, that celery was a creamy yellow colour and not at all the vaguely opaque green we are more used to seeing these days. Or did I imagine it - did celery really used to be the colour of - well Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup?

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  1. Quine RE: butterchicken2nan Apr 15, 2007 07:17 PM

    I have always known my celery as well, celery green. But the inside area does have that yellow color, from lack of sunlight reaching it. Perhaps the growing methods were different in Scotland?

    I say this because I seem to recall celery needed to be bound at some point to keep it bunched while growing.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Quine
      smartie RE: Quine Apr 15, 2007 07:38 PM

      I am from England and I agree with the OP that celery was certainly a yellowy/creamy colour and not the green of today. Maybe it is a Brit thing.

      1. re: smartie
        Quine RE: smartie Apr 15, 2007 07:49 PM

        I do think it is a variety difference. Most celery in USA seems to be green, but in researching this topic, I did find references (but not a pic yet) to the fact that celery comes in three colors, green, yellow and a redish.

        1. re: Quine
          butterchicken2nan RE: Quine Apr 15, 2007 08:29 PM

          Hmm intersting responses so far - maybe this is a Brit thing after all - I also don't seem to recall celery being as stringy as it seems nowadays. Is it possible that we used to blanch the celery by piling soil on it at the end of the growing process? I think I remember my father doing that as a method for blanching asparagus.

    2. pepper_mil RE: butterchicken2nan Apr 16, 2007 05:44 AM

      I am in China and celery is definitely yellow. Yellow, narrow, leafy stalks. Love it.


      2 Replies
      1. re: pepper_mil
        hotoynoodle RE: pepper_mil Apr 16, 2007 07:45 AM

        there is something sold here as chinese celery, which matches your description. i like it because it has lots of leaves and is less stringy.

        1. re: hotoynoodle
          HollyDolly RE: hotoynoodle Apr 17, 2007 07:56 AM

          Yes,celery can be a yellowish or cream color.If i recall they put some sort of tube around the growing celery.This keeps the sunlight off it and in effect changes the color to a cream instead of green color.I think photosynthisis has to something to do with it.That is what turns celery green.By surrounding it with a tube or cylinder,you are depriving it of light,so the celery then turns that yellowy cream color.
          You can also do the same with aspergaus as well.

      2. h
        howboy RE: butterchicken2nan Apr 18, 2007 02:07 PM

        And when did it get so gourmet-expensive? It used to be one of the cheapest things your could find.

        3 Replies
        1. re: howboy
          orangewasabi RE: howboy Apr 18, 2007 02:11 PM

          seriously!! it's crazy expensive this year, it use to be a cheap filler veg, now I can use endive for the same price.

          what's the cost of celery on the West Coast, anyone?

          1. re: orangewasabi
            Veggietales RE: orangewasabi Apr 18, 2007 05:55 PM

            Celery had a hard start for 2007 due to the intene month long frost CAli endure; the loss of the citrus crop hit the front page of the news but other commodities such as celery got little press on how much it damaged whole farms of celery in the central valley. Hence the higher than usual pricing.

            I don't know what celery cost retail, but wholesale prices are back to normal levels, but this just happened very recently.

            *veggietales :-)

            1. re: orangewasabi
              rworange RE: orangewasabi Dec 27, 2011 06:52 PM


          2. c
            Cybob RE: butterchicken2nan Dec 23, 2011 03:06 PM

            Barbara Kafka in her book Vegetable Love remembers yellow and (white AKA Pascal or Easter) celery.

            She states that the yellow was used to flavor soups or "Italian, French, Spanish, and Cajun dishes." The white was blocked from sunlight and was "eaten raw or cooked."

            She essentially states that today we are stuck with the inferior green celery.

            I might start a search for heirloom celery.

            1. h
              Harters RE: butterchicken2nan Dec 23, 2011 03:53 PM

              Traditionally (in the UK) celery is earthed up as it grows. With the light excluded, it grows as a creamy off-white colour. Most British grown celery is like this. But, if it is not earthed up, it grows green. It's cheaper to produce that way but, to my mind, loses something of the flavour.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Harters
                Terrie H. RE: Harters Dec 23, 2011 04:06 PM

                I miss the flavor of that old-fashioned blanched celery. I find the green celery we have now to be somewhat bitter and grassy flavored. Chlorophyll isn't a friend to celery IMO.

              2. r
                racer x RE: butterchicken2nan Dec 26, 2011 02:01 PM

                Interesting discussion.
                I've always thought of normal celery as being green (and stringy -- one of the reasons I can only stomach it if it's used to flavor a cooked dish). When green celery is left in the refrigerator past it's prime, it turns yellow or cream-colored.

                I recently discovered "Chinese celery" in the Asian market. It is bright green, but has much thinner, more delicate stalks and a lot more leaves (think cilantro or parsley) than the traditional American-style celery found in the mainstream markets. I haven't tasted any Chinese celery yet, though.

                11 Replies
                1. re: racer x
                  paulj RE: racer x Dec 27, 2011 12:11 PM

                  The celery taste is stronger in the Chinese variety. It isn't as good for raw nibbling, but great for flavoring stocks or other dishes (chopped).

                  1. re: paulj
                    racer x RE: paulj Dec 27, 2011 01:44 PM

                    Nibbling on raw celery? No thanks.

                    1. re: racer x
                      paulj RE: racer x Dec 27, 2011 02:20 PM

                      What,no 'ants on a log'?

                      1. re: paulj
                        racer x RE: paulj Dec 27, 2011 04:28 PM

                        This is the first I've heard of that dish. (And thanks for making me gag.)

                        1. re: racer x
                          paulj RE: racer x Dec 27, 2011 05:52 PM

                          what a poor deprived childhood you had :)

                          1. re: paulj
                            huiray RE: paulj Dec 28, 2011 01:44 PM

                            ...and he must have *never* had any veggie nibbles platters with dip. :-D

                            1. re: huiray
                              racer x RE: huiray Dec 29, 2011 01:37 PM

                              At more meetings and cocktail parties than I'd care remember.

                              Just gimme the crackers and cheese, and the carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes with the dip. You can keep your celery sticks, thanks.

                          2. re: racer x
                            Cybob RE: racer x Dec 29, 2011 11:08 AM

                            And no Buffalo Wings with julienned celery, carrot, and blue cheese dressing?

                      2. re: paulj
                        huiray RE: paulj Dec 28, 2011 01:48 PM

                        Also good for stir-fries with a little smashed garlic & thin-sliced meat of your choice. Another choice would be stir-fried noodle dishes w/ Chinese celery as the veggie. Distinct flavor to the dish. In fried rice - use as you would Western celery (which is excellent in Chinese fried rice done a certain way).

                      3. re: racer x
                        huiray RE: racer x Dec 28, 2011 01:50 PM

                        Have you ever tried "de-stringing" (Western) celery stalks? I normally do, except for the inner core stalks, and even with those I definitely would if they have sat in the fridge for a little while. Really easy to do.

                        1. re: huiray
                          Harters RE: huiray Dec 29, 2011 10:10 AM

                          I always destring, whether cooking with the celery or eating it raw in salads or just with cheese.

                      4. pdxgastro RE: butterchicken2nan Dec 26, 2011 06:11 PM

                        Have you noticed that while the outer stalks are green, the inner are yellowish? I love munching on the inner stalks, they're denser and have a more concentrated (less watery) flavor.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pdxgastro
                          paulj RE: pdxgastro Dec 29, 2011 11:40 AM

                          Celery hearts, the inner stalks, are commonly sold in sets of 3 in plastic bags. On a per pound basis they aren't as cheap as whole 'heads', but for eating raw they may be a better deal. Hearts don't usually include the leaves, which tend to have more flavor. I usually dice and cook the outer stalks.

                        2. p
                          pine time RE: butterchicken2nan Dec 28, 2011 01:08 PM

                          Ah, these posts answered, believed it or not, a fashion question. I bought a suit a few years ago, and the label called the color "celery." It wasn't green-green, however, but a lovely light green with yellow, buttery undertones. Now I get it!

                          1. JMF RE: butterchicken2nan Dec 29, 2011 09:40 AM


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