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"Is America ready for red celery? "

monku Oct 16, 2010 09:40 PM

What are the possibilities?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101016/a...

  1. f
    ferret Oct 20, 2010 07:43 AM

    Don't want to step all over anyone's 20-year dream, but ???? Has the celery market been screaming for a new color? This reminds me, in a far less offensive way, of the Grapple (the grape kool-aid flavored apple). A product without a real demand.

    10 Replies
    1. re: ferret
      b
      Breezychow Oct 20, 2010 04:24 PM

      I'm guessing that none of you folks having a yuck over this are gardeners, otherwise "red celery" wouldn't be such big news. It's been around for several years now, but only small market gardeners & home gardeners like myself have apparently been growing it. And frankly, we don't give a rat's patootie whether the commercial market likes or wants it - lol!

      It's extremely attractive & makes a terrific "edible" container plant. Also adds a nice punch of color to salads, sauces, etc.

      Don't knock it until you've tried it.

      1. re: Breezychow
        ZenSojourner Oct 20, 2010 08:53 PM

        Uhh, yeah, I am a gardener. From a family of gardeners stretching way way back, probably all the way to when Man was 3' tall and still pretty hairy.

        I still think Red Celery is funny. Unless it tastes different, is pest resistant, or somehow easier to grow, I don't care WHAT color it is.

        1. re: Breezychow
          John E. Oct 20, 2010 09:31 PM

          I happen to think that red celery, since the photos I've seen show celery that's still mostly green, will have even less of an impact on the vegetable world than orange and purple cauliflower.

          1. re: Breezychow
            bushwickgirl Oct 21, 2010 12:09 PM

            "Around for several years now," That's interesting; I haven't seen it in any gardening catalogs or centers, nor has my sister, an avid gardener, or brother, who owns a nursery. It must be limited to certain areas of the country.

            Beyond orange and purpIe cauliflower, I predict red celery will have even less impact than that ghastly yellow cucumber and yellow stalked Swiss chard.

            1. re: bushwickgirl
              John E. Oct 21, 2010 01:08 PM

              When you say yellow cucumber, are referring to the small, round yellow cucumbers? For whatever reason we planted some of those this year. What a mistake. They grew just fine and are interesting looking, but I absolutely hate cucumbers with a lot of water and big seeds and that's exactly what these things grew to have.

              1. re: John E.
                bushwickgirl Oct 21, 2010 01:21 PM

                Yes, those. I think of them, appearance-wise, anyway, as the overripe, tough, seedy cukes you find hiding on the vine in your garden at the end of the season in, say, October. My sister in MA grew some and didn't like them either. The yellow Swiss chard I have not had, but my sister was complaining about that as well.

                It's one of those "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" things, I think. I don't think celery needs to be red, but I think I said that the first time I saw a seedless watermelon or a golden beet, and I like those just fine now. We'll see how the market does.

              2. re: bushwickgirl
                b
                Breezychow Oct 21, 2010 01:20 PM

                Are you joking Bushwickgirl? "Bright Lights" & "Rainbow" Swiss Chard is one of the biggest sellers of chard at both farmers markets & supermarkets. Same goes for the colored stalks that are sold individually - gold, yellow, neon pink, etc.. Where exactly do you live that you feel it's so utterly unpopular? I live in a very rural area & it's a best seller.

                And as far as "red celery", the seed is easily found at mainstream companies like "Cook's Garden", "John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden", etc.. Heck, just do a websearch for "red celery". It's not difficult to find at all. Your "avid gardener sister & nursery-owning brother" notwithstanding, you're unlikely to find transplants at garden centers since most don't carry celery at all. It's a fickle vegetable to grow regardless of color & isn't fond of transplanting once past a certain young stage, thus it's not very marketable for nurseries to carry. Your nursery-owning brother most likely knows this, yes?

                And yes, I repeat - it HAS beena round for several years. I'VE GROWN IT, for goodness sake. Just because you or your "avid gardener" siblings haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist - lol!! Good grief.

                As far as "impact"? Who really cares. Like I said before, it has nice celery flavor & adds a nice punch of color to salads & cooked dishes. What more do you want from celery?

                1. re: Breezychow
                  ZenSojourner Oct 21, 2010 01:42 PM

                  Errr, as a hereditary gardener, I can tell you for sure, Cook's Garden and John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden are NOT mainstream seed suppliers.

                  Parks, Burpees, Gurneys, Stokes, Harris, Mellingers (now sadly long out of business and probably more for trees than seeds), Johnny's if you're a northern gardener. Probably a few others.

                  Cook's is a specialty seed supplier (I have bought from them) and in 50 years of gardening I've never even heard of John Scheeper.

                  Not saying there's anything wrong with them, but they are not "mainstream".

                  Nobody said it didn't exist. Just that it's not made much of a splash. Which it hasn't.

                  Like I said, if it doesn't taste better and/or grow better, I don't care. And in MY very very VERY rural area (nearest neighbor over a mile away, 5 miles down a dirt road, if the weather's good and the crick don't rise) nobody grows that stuff. Nobody would buy it at our farmer's markets, which were patronized largely by other farmers or ranchers. I doubt they'd buy swiss chard at all, let alone swiss chard in "rainbow colors", LOL!

                  1. re: Breezychow
                    bushwickgirl Oct 21, 2010 02:53 PM

                    Actaully, what I wrote was that red celery appears to be a very limited market, possibly only in certain areas of the country, and I did not say that it doesn't exist. Let's not get too hot under the collar about this. Just because I haven't seen it in the Northeast or in New England doesn't mean I won't take your word for it. Good grief is right.

                    As for chard, my sister, who lives in MA, doesn't like the yellow chard, flavor and color, which has nothing to do with the red, or other rainbow shades, which are fine. I have no idea how popular rainbow chard is where I live, but I didn't comment on it's popularity, just one person's opinion of the flavor and color of one variety of chard. Flavor notwithstanding, color often dictates whether a food product is acceptable to one or not; as a personal preference, she doesn't like yellow chard. Green and red chard have been around for decades, and are readily available where I am, while farmer's markets here carry other colors. Pink Swiss chard stalks? Meh, it's a color thing.

                    Speaking of personal preference, obviously you're a proponent of red celery; others may not respond to it for a variety of reasons, color being one of them. We'll see how well the western US commercial markets take to a premium priced celery, of all things, in this economy, according to the link posted by the OP.

                    Btw, my brother sells celery for transplanting from his nursery in the spring. Just not the red stuff.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                      toodie jane Oct 21, 2010 08:59 PM

                      In my 15 years of repping for a national seed company, Fordhook Giant white stalk outsells either Bright Lights, Five Color Silverbeet Chard, or Ruby Red probably 3 to 1 here in California.

                      Yet generally speaking, the more non-mainstream the variety, the more excitement is generated at the consumer level. They love to see odd varieties but this doesn't always translate into higher sales. I think gardeners like to stick with what works in their climate, soil, and zone, so new and/or quirky varieties don't always become best-sellers. In fact, they hardly ever do.

                      Some of our more popular recent offerings are also the newer items in the home cooking scene, getting frequently mentioned on the cooking shows:
                      Quinoa, multi-colored
                      Heirloom tomatoes, still going strong
                      Unusual pumpkins
                      Heirloom summer squash
                      Mulitcolored beet mixes
                      Multicolored carrot mixes
                      muskmelons
                      kales
                      heirloom cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts)
                      edamame

                      Sometimes things like red celery may have only one or two seed growers, so they will not be widely available across the nation. Sometimes seed viability (low germination rates due to poor weather at harvest or storage problems) will keep a seed crop in ultra short supply. The seed business is much more complicated (needs must be calulated 2 to 4 years in advance of offering on the retail market) than one might think.

                      Personally, I think red or pinkish celerey might be fun to play with if it has a good strong nutty/sweet flavor. And would be no more odd in 10 years than are yellow beets or purple carrots, now.

            2. ipsedixit Oct 19, 2010 09:53 PM

              This will come in handy, I'm sure, for those edible Christmas centerpieces.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit
                bushwickgirl Oct 20, 2010 05:13 AM

                Yup, I can see it now, red and green celery stalks, stuffed with cream cheese and olives...

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  LindaWhit Oct 20, 2010 05:38 AM

                  Don't give Aunt Sandy any ideas. ;-)

                2. ZenSojourner Oct 19, 2010 06:32 PM

                  Rhubarb's what I thought of as well. Went to google some images and one of them looked suspicious - clicked on it - sure enough, it was rhubarb! LOL!

                  1. John E. Oct 18, 2010 09:45 PM

                    I saw a photo of it and it is still mostly green. It's not really all that impressive, sort of like purple or green ketchup.

                    1. Withnail42 Oct 18, 2010 11:51 AM

                      Red celery: All that comes to mind is rhubarb.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Withnail42
                        goodhealthgourmet Oct 18, 2010 08:38 PM

                        ha! i clicked on this thread to say exactly the same thing :)

                      2. sarahjay Oct 17, 2010 08:34 PM

                        it's pretty, and if the color helps people to eat more veggies, good.

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