Celery - Defined, Varieties and Recipes

Celery—Is an aromatic plant cultivated largely as a flavoring vegetable and for uses of salads. It is generally sent to table in a raw condition, is the one and proper thing to eat with "canvas back duck".

Kalamazoo, Michigan, is the great celery raising spot in this country. When the celery industry was started in Kalamazoo, it was not for several years that the enterprising pioneers in this industry discovered that the thousands of acres of river bottom lands surrounding the city were especially adapted in the raising of celery to the pinnacle of esteem and popular favor it now holds.

Visitors to Kalamazoo ate it, and carried away marvelous tales of its delicacy, orders to purchase and forward were sent back to friends and express agents, and the industry that was destined to make Kalamazoo famous as the celery city was born.

At the present time there are thousands of acres under cultivation, and celery finds its way from Kalamazoo to every part of the United States and special shipments have been sent by steamer to Liverpool and London. In raising celery the seed is first sown during the winter months in specially prepared hot houses, of which there are acres under glass, the plants are transplanted, thinned out, and about the first of May are again transplanted to the fields, being planted in specially prepared trenches in double rows.

There it is carefully looked after, cultivated and irrigated, and when of the proper size, the rich black soil is drawn up around the plants from both sides, until it forms a bank reaching nearly to the top of the leaves. About fourteen days is required for
the plant to acquire that silvery whiteness and delicate crispness so enjoyed by every lover of celery.

The shipping season then commences, and celery is taken from the fields to the packing rooms, carefully washed and tied in bunches of twelve heads each, packed and delivered to the express company for shipment. The fall crop, which is abundant later, is taken from the fields about the first of November, and is placed in specially constructed houses for preservation during the cold weather months.

The season usually commences about the first of July and closes about February. From its start as the appetizer, in front of a good dinner, its rare beauty as a table ornament, etc., the rise of celery to popular appreciation was rapid. The use of celery and its adaptability in the preparation of table condiments is well seen on the grocers' shelves.

There is canned celery for cooking only; chopped celery put up in such a manner as to retain its crispness and good quality for use at any time in the preparation of salads; celery pickles, celery mustard, celery salt, celery pepper, celery extracts and tonic, in fact everything that can be manufactured from it in any way.

Chopped and canned celery are especially adapted to the wants of the "Chef" as they are always ready at any season of the year, and particularly useful are they at the season when good celery is not obtainable. There is also manufactured a prepared salad ready for the table, whose flavor and excellence is as surprising as it is delicious.

CREAM OF CELERY—Into a good veal or chicken stock is put a knuckle of ham, a few onions, plenty of outside stalks of celery, and a few blades of mace; boiled till celery is soft, ham then taken out and the soup thickened with roux and rubbed through a fine sieve, boiled up again with the addition of an equal quantity of Bèchamel sauce, seasoned and served (also called purée).

Purée OF CELERY AND ONIONS—Same as the preceding, but using a purée of onions or sauce soubise to add with the celery Purée, instead of Bèchamel.

CELERY CONSOMME—The vegetables in the consommé stock composed mostly of celery, to give it a pronounced flavor; when strained and skimmed, Julienne strips of boiled celery added to it, seasoned and served.

STEWED CELERY ON TOAST—Celery stalks all cut about the same size like asparagus, boiled tender in salted water, taken up and arranged in a saûtoir, moistened with Vélouté sauce, simmered; served with one end resting on toast, with some of the sauce poured over the ends.

CELERY PATTIES—The hearts of eight heads of celery boiled till tender, drained, then pounded to a paste with a cupful each of grated ham, cream, and fine bread crumbs, seasoned with salt, pepper and a little butter, the mixture steamed till it thickens, then filled into patty cases and served hot.

BAKED CELERY WITH CHEESE—The celery cut into inch lengths like macaroni, boiled in salted water till tender, drained, mixed with a little grated ham and chopped green celery leaves, arranged in layers in baking dish, each layer sprinkled with grated cheese; when full, moistened with 'Monté sauce, sprinkled with grated bread crumbs mixed with cheese, then with melted butter and baked.

CELERY WITH MARROW—The stewed celery (as in Stewed Celery on Toast) served on toast spread with marrow; served garnished with slices of cooked marrow.

FRIED CELERY, SAUCE VILLEROI—Three inch lengths of celery stalk boiled not quite done in salted water, drained, seasoned with salt and pepper, breaded and flied; served with Villeroi sauce poured around.

BOILED CELERY WITH ONIONS — Stalks of celery about three inches long, small onions of an even size, both boiled together in veal stock till tender; served, the celery on toast masked with Bèchamel sauce, garnished with onions.

CELERY FRITTERS — Celery stalks three inches long, tied in bundles three stalks thick, boiled till tender in salted water, taken up and drained, seasoned with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese, string removed, dipped in batter and fried; served as a vegetable.

BRAISED CELERY ON TOAST—Celery stalks all of an even size, boiled not quite done in salted water, then arranged in a saûtoir, and moistened with strong chicken stock and a piece of glaze, stewed down rich; served on toast with the glaze poured over it.

CELERY SAUTE—Celery stalks of an even size, blanched, then arranged in a saûtoir with some bacon trimmings and a minced shallot, heated thoroughly, then moistened with equal parts of tomato and Espagnole sauces, simmered till done; served on toast with the sauce poured over.

MAYONNAISE OF CELERY—The tender parts only should be used by cutting them into pencil strips an inch long, washing thoroughly, then drained and mixed with mayonnaise; served on a leaf of lettuce.

CELERIAC- -A form of celery with a bulbous root, used as a salad and for flavoring, but little used in hotel work.

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