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Celery is Evil?

From my SIL: NO ONE likes celery.

Discuss.

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  1. Tell your SIL she is incorrect. I love celery in soup, in salads, plain or with peanut butter and raisins or with blue cheese dip. Or any old way you want to serve it to me. I love it in tuna salad, Waldorf salad and potato salad. I love it in sage dressing at Thanksgiving.
    If I think of any more, I'll chime back in again.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jmcarthur8

      Ditto. Celery is a favorite of mine. The leaves are good chopped into soups and salads too.

    2. Celery is essential in mire poix, many soups, stews, chicken and dumplings and dressing as jmcarthur already mentioned. I gew my own this year for the first time and they really are beautiful (and tasty) plants.

      Has your SIL had braised celery? Very good.

      How does your SIL feel about celeriac? I adore it. But I know that wasn't your question...

      ETA: Your SIL can use celery leaves to dry to make celery salt which. I use the leaves, too, usually to flavour soups/stews or as a main component of salad. So nice with goat or blue cheese, toasted nuts, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefathome

        Sorry, but I agree with the SIL--yes, it's evil.

        Even so, I DO use it, 'cause I think it's a law or something, for mire poix.

      2. *I* love celery! In my potato soup, in stuffing, in stir fry, raw with blue cheese dressing - lots of things I like to use celery for.

        Heck, I need celery seed for potato salad too!

        1. Raw celery by itself may not amount to much, but as a crudité for dipping, when braised, as one of the three elements in mirepoix and the Cajun holy trinity, and many other uses, it's one of the kitchen's more valuable players. (Others have already said much of this but it's worth repeating.)

          1. How would I eat peanut butter without it?

            1 Reply
            1. Your SIL must not know very many people.

              1. I would have to be very hungry indeed to choose to munch on a stalk of raw celery -- blecch! But I do add it to many, many savory dishes. It gives a certain something to soups, stews, etc. Kind of spikes up the flavor.

                1. Not much to discuss. Different strokes

                  1. I cook celery for a vegetable dish (usually a quick "braise" with carrot batons). I make soup with it. I chop it into salads. And it's my favourite thing to eat with cheese. The leaves go in all sorts of things, at the same time as the other fresh herbs.

                    1. The procuring agent for the US Army commissaries in the Nurenburg region forgot to order celery just prior to Thanksgiving. People were driving to Frankfurt and Augsburg to get celery for their stuffing.

                      1. I'm with your SIL. Other than being a carrier for peanut butter and dips, it has no redeeming value IMO.

                        And cooked celery is the worst. I leave it out of any recipe that calls for it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                          You forgot as a Bloody Mary stirrer. Otherwise, it's useless stuff, IMO.

                        2. I love celery, and will eat it straight up, raw.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                            Eat 3 or 4 ribs a day, one of the best internal body cleansers there is.

                          2. She is being SILly.
                            Celery is a beautiful thing, raw or cooked.
                            And in Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda, it is sublime.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: The Professor

                              +1 for DBC-RS. Would never eat corned beef without it if it's available. A curious food pairing that works so well.

                            2. I hated celery for years, having been practically force fed it as diet food as a child. Also , most supermarket celery is devoid of flavor. However, judging celery on that basis would be like deciding you don't like tomatoes having only had one from the supermarket. Good, fresh celery has lots of crunch and flavor.

                              1. Hot wings are not the same without nice, crispy celery on the side (with chunky blue cheese dressing, please). My tuna and egg salad would never be alright without it either.

                                And second on all here who have mentioned mirepoix, holy trinity, and Turkey day stuffing.....

                                Also stock would not be balanced without it.

                                I like to keep some cut celery standing up in a rocks glass with ice cubes and water in the door of the fridge, so if I go grazing in the fridge for a snack, they are right there to give a satisfying crunch and keep me out of the cheese drawer!

                                1. The thing is, if NOBODY liked it, nobody would buy it, and hence grocery stores wouldn't carry it. So what does she think happens to all that celery in the grocery store, they just keep it around for decoration? LOL!

                                  1. I hated celery as a young kid and young cook, but now I use it lots.

                                    chicken/tuna/egg salads
                                    T-day dressing
                                    stuff in chicken cavity w/onions, carrots, etc.
                                    I love the tender leaves in my potato soup
                                    soups/stews
                                    snacking
                                    stocks chicken/turkey/beef
                                    I've even finely diced it for omelets

                                    wrap it in foil and it keeps for weeks in the fridge

                                    1. I know I'm outnumbered here but, I have to agree with your SIL. To me, it is a fibrous and somewhat indigestible item overused primarily as a cheap filler to give texture to some dishes while cutting down on the costlier main ingredient(s). It's almost non-existent taste is easily overpowered by most other ingredients.
                                      I will admit to liking Campbell's Cream of Celery soup as a kid; probably because of the salt content and the more concentrated flavor.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                        I find it high in the umami taste. So to me definitely not tasteless

                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                          Celery?? Umami??

                                          Umami: a strong meaty taste imparted by glutamate and certain other amino acids: often considered to be one of the basic taste sensations along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

                                          I guess my taste buds have become insensitive to rather mild, almost neutral flavors.

                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                            I would not say that celery is flavorless (some of it can be rather pronounced), but not sure I'd put it as umami, either.

                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                              Celery isn't high in glutamates but does have some. about half of other vegetables that are known to be high. When I eat it raw I get that glutamate taste but then that could just be me

                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                It has to be you, scubadoo; I wouldn't know the taste of a glutamate if I fell over one.

                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                  Just curious, are you a chilehead?

                                                  (I also can definitely taste the "savory" aspect of celery, though I might not characterize it as "umami")

                                              2. re: mucho gordo

                                                I don't get much umami in celery by itself, but one of my favorite ways to eat it is filled with cream cheese topped with an anchovy filet. Now THAT's umami.

                                          2. I dislike it raw or cooked in large chunks, but I use it, VERY finely chopped, in mirepoix, Thanksgiving stuffing, ragu Bolognese, etc. In these applications it adds a subtle flavor that I would miss if it weren't there. I hate the texture of it though, and if I can detect it visually or via mouthfeel, I despise it.

                                            1. My mom hates celery, I like it. That being said, my mom does like celery root. So I think the first question by someone who doesn't like celery is if it's a taste issue or texture.

                                              1. I like it,raw and cooked in appropriate recipes.Husband and late father in law consider it toxic.
                                                If visible,it goes uneaten.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lcool

                                                  Besides many of the reasons in favor of celery above, I love some chopped celery in my fried rice. I think it does add some discrete flavor.

                                                2. I like the flavor, but hate the stringiness of it, so generally only eat it when it's fully cooked and well minced.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: beachmouse

                                                    Same here: it's essential in mirepoix, and soups and stocks, but I while I like the taste I hate the texture of raw celery stalks. I can tolerate them minced if I must. Celery root, on the other hand, I'm fine with.

                                                      1. re: beachmouse

                                                        As sr44 says, just de-string it. Easy. I do it by hand. Others do it w/ a potato/veggie peeler, others with a mandoline, others with a paring knife etc. If you've never done it, just do a google search for the subject.

                                                      2. She must have never seen anyone else eat celery.

                                                        (Do you like celery? If so, eat some in front of her.)

                                                        1. I really like organically raised celery which has a fresher flavor. I often eat a few sticks with lunch, and I like it as a dipper, or stuffed with peanut butter for a snack. It is also lovely stuffed with homemade pimiento cheese. I think it would be lovely stuffed with goat cheese.

                                                          Your SIL is simply passing on her own prejudices or perhaps those of her family.

                                                          1. Funny enough, as I browsed Chowhound while eating a favorite snack of mine- celery with peanut butter and raisins (the old "ants on a log" from childhood) I come across this thread! I like its salty tang and am even endeared to its fibrous texture. I love the contrast of the salty celery, creamy PB and sweet raisins.

                                                            Of course people like celery and am not sure why one would project their own food preferences on the rest of the population. Now, I am going to get back to my tasty snack....

                                                            1. Celery is an essential, along with certain fresh herbs, I always have it on hand.

                                                              1. Chicken Salad has to have diced celery in it to have the right flavor and texture for me.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. I love celery, and finally found a super dish that stars celery. It is Ina Garten's Celery and Parmesan salad...so fresh, crisp and summery, with a lovely lemon vinaigrette. Craveable.

                                                                  http://www.thegoodstuffguide.com/ina-...

                                                                  1. I think it's a good food to eat when your flight is delayed- I'm not pleased about either the delay or the celery, but its passive-aggressive crunch at such times will make other passengers envious.
                                                                    ...either that, or dilute its bitter flavor by hurling it into a soup, or reduce its ego by frying it- there's so much water in it it becomes a sweet little nothing.

                                                                    1. Please convey my thanks to your SIL. This thread has made me realize that celery is one of my favorite vegetables. (Not that I'm one of the great vegetarians, mark you!) I'd just never realized how much I rely on celery and really like what it does in the kitchen.

                                                                      1. Beyond all the delicious obvious uses (soups, stuffing, salads, stews, etc) there's celery salt - I can no longer imagine having a hot dog without celery salt (long live NY System wieners).

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. sandylc,
                                                                          Now that the committee has voted rather in favor of SIL's hated celery (with a few nays, of course), what does SIL have to say about the popularity of said vegetable?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                            jm, with my husband's family it's generally best to smile and let sleeping dogs lie. Peace is good and celery isn't worth it! It does feel good to see that I'm not crazy to think she's a little crazy!!!

                                                                          2. The only one I know that would agree with this statement is my garbage disposal.

                                                                            They definitely do NOT get along and a dissaster ensues every time we get them together! What a mess!

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: MSK

                                                                              So stop putting it down your garbage disposal! (It's the strings...)

                                                                              1. re: MSK

                                                                                I would be tempted to say it's your garbage disposal, but on the other hand, not much celery goes down the drain in my house.

                                                                                Still, I have a garbage disposal that chokes on nearly everything - onion peels, potato peels, forget ever putting a banana peel down there. But on the rare occasion when I find some forgotten celery when doing archaeological surveys of the back of my fridge, even the garbage disposal seems to enjoy celery!

                                                                              2. love celery, my latest way is simply stir-fried with ginger, garlic,chili flake, a touch of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar...pretty perfect side

                                                                                1. Organic celery tastes as I remember celery tasting when I grew up.

                                                                                  And I agree with others above - great with peanut butter or cream cheese; a must-have for the mirepoix in soups, it totally works in stir-frys, and it's a must-have for crunch in tuna or chicken salad.

                                                                                  And while I don't drink them, you NEED them in Bloody Marys!

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    I can relate.At 67 I remember celery before the most modern stains of PASCAL.Two of us have been growing older stains,sedano and Chinese celery.A major difference in flavor profile.

                                                                                    and well liked by Monarch Butterflies,the larval stage,AKA the parsley worm

                                                                                    1. re: lcool

                                                                                      Ah yes, Chinese celery. Pungent (in a non-hot way), flavorful, most definitely not tasteless.

                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                        LOVE Chinese celery. I save the leafy tops and put them in the dehydrator and store the dried result in a jar to be on the ready to add to stuffings, dumplings, and soups.

                                                                                  2. I spent the first part of my life wondering why celery was good. I was only given it raw sliced in salads or with cream cheese and olive stuffing. It didn't excite me.

                                                                                    When I started cooking, I realized what it adds to the flavor of so many long-cooked foods, and worked my way back to loving the flavor of it raw. Progression....

                                                                                    And I really love the leaves for my soups and stews. Those leaves are gold!

                                                                                    1. Cream of Celery soup was one of my favorites for lunch when I was a kid, and if I'm in one of those weird bars that don't put a stalk in their Bloody Marys I'll get something else; I drink those things mostly for the celery! Peanut butter, of course, but it's an even better carrier of pimento cheese. Essential in pots of beans and in stocks, though the flavor is so strong (who said it didn't have ANY??) it can easily overpower everything else. It's also essential for the white bean salad we like; I slice it very thinly crosswise, which takes care of the string problem.

                                                                                      Aside from beans, stocks and soup, I'm not nuts for cooked celery, nor do I use it in potato salad often, unless I'm bumping up some Trader Joe's I've bought as a shortcut. But the assertion that NOBODY likes celery is clearly off by miles. Any vegetable grown and sold in such abundance is obviously more popular than not.

                                                                                      1. I absolutely love the way the Chinese cook celery with chicken, nuts, and hot sauce:

                                                                                        http://bitsyskitchen.com/poultry38.html

                                                                                        @castorpman

                                                                                        1. I loathe it. Honestly. The only thing I will tolerate it in is soup or stuffing (and in the latter case I pick it out half the time). But it DOES add a nice flavor to soup. I like celery salt too, for some things if used lightly. Mainly it's the texture I hate, but the taste is a turn-off as well.

                                                                                          My other no-nos are lima beans, cauliflower (it's just undead broccoli) and okra. Raw onions fall into this category as well, but I can actually tolerate them ok in some cases.

                                                                                          1. I am actually not a huge fan of the flavor of celery, but I do use it or celery seed in recipes where it it not distinguishable on its own. But it has to be cut up fine. If I get soup (or other food) with large chunks of celery, I will pick them out. I do NOT eat raw celery.

                                                                                            1. It seems like to some celery is bland and to others it is very strong - I wonder if this is due to the varieties of celery available, or to different types of taste buds?

                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                a little of both...I've had ridiculously bland celery, and celery that was very strong.

                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                  There is probably a contribution to taste from the growing method. I suspect the traditional method of blanching it by earthing up and not harvesting until early winter will be a winner.

                                                                                                  Pot roast pheasant and celery will soon be putting in an appearance in the household. Lots of other celery recipes on this site - http://www.lovecelery.co.uk/recipes/d...

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    I'll check out that site with utmost celerity.

                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                      Looks like a dead site, Harters. I can access cached sites from September 15th of this year, but everything is without pictures, and I have to re-access cached links for each recipe.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        It's live for me.

                                                                                                        and LOL! at Perilagu Khan, you punster, you!

                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                            Weird. It's OK now for me. Perhaps they were fixing something. Or the Intertubez under the big pond weren't working. :-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          While I wouldn't say I Love celery there's always a bunch in the fridge for all the reasons everyone up thread has stated. But I must thank Harters for linking the celery site. I need to make the Celery, Radish, Apple with Blue Cheese Salad tonight. It will help use up the radishes which I think are cloning themselves in the VG crisper...

                                                                                                          http://www.lovecelery.co.uk/recipes/d...

                                                                                                      2. ...so this morning @ 1:04 I made my son and husband their to go lunches for work.
                                                                                                        in them went the same things:chicken sandwich from the roasted breasts that was dinner last night, carrot sticks, trail mix, water for the kid in a gallon jug that he asked to be frozen and a bottle of diet coke for hubby plus they both got peanut butter on celery. we love that treat.

                                                                                                        celery can be very over powering and you can't take it out say in a Bolognese, so....buyer beware, start with less, you can always add more if needed but if there's too much you just gotta dump.

                                                                                                        1. There is celery, and then there is CELERY! Depends on where you live, and where you buy it Celery from the produce department of a U.S. supermarket is (in my experience) about as different from head to head as milk is from carton to carton. It's "celery"! But if you move to other parts of the world than USA or (presumably) most of Canada, you could end up finding you have to "make do" with celery root or celeriac. There have been times in my life when I would have made a deal with the Devil to get a stalk of celery or a head of iceberg lettuce! Try making a mirapoix without celery... It's like trying to make brownies without chocolate! Maybe you can fake it, but it's going to be disappointing. VERY disappointing!

                                                                                                          1. I'm afraid I can't agree with your SIL. I personally do not like celery and don't even use it for mirepoix (yeah, so its not really mirepoix),but I manage to do ok when other people use it, i just know the food would taste better without it. If i want that 'bite' that celery provides I'll dice up some green bell pepper. Still I have to admit that most people have no objection to celery and a fairly large percent of the population actually enjoy it.

                                                                                                            I wonder if there is any correlation between those who dislike celery and those who dislike cilantro?

                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                              OK, now that green bell pepper - I might object to it. I don't particularly like it; stuffed green bell peppers are OK, other types of pepper (e.g. Poblano, marinated/roasted RED bell peppers, Shishito, etc) are fine.

                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                Well, KM, if you were replacing the carrots with bell peppers in a mirepoix, then you'd have the Cajun cooking "Trinity," but sorry, no cigar. Even Cajun cooks love celery!

                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                  I detest cilantro and like celery. So no correlation...at least for me.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                    OTOH, I love cilantro and detest celery :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                      But still no correlation. :-)

                                                                                                                      And I used celery for my chicken stock mirepoix this weekend. AND had some celery with peanut butter as an afternoon Scooby Snack.

                                                                                                                  2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                    I really like celery but like cilantro only in small doses.

                                                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                      I've been thinking about that cilantro/celery thing myself. In the case of cilantro I understand it's a gene carried by about 10% of the US population that does it (makes it taste soapy). Perhaps it could be the same type of thing with celery, but a different gene (??) so no correlation from individual to individual?

                                                                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                        Like celery, avoid cilantro (don't despise it, but will brush it off or not order it if I get the chance.)

                                                                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                          I love to use celery and coriander. Not together, though.