Celery (Apium graveolens) is a plant species where only the stalks are eaten.
Celery grows to 1 m tall. The leaves are pinnate to bipinnate leaves with rhombic leaflets 3.6 cm long and 2.4 cm broad. The flowers are creamy-white, 2.3 mm diameter, produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5.2 mm long and wide.
The plants are raised from seed, sown either in a hot bed or in the open garden according to the season of the year, and after one or two thinnings out and transplantings they are, on attaining a height of 15.20 cm, planted out in deep trenches for convenience of blanching, which is effected by earthing up to exclude light from the stems.
Harvesting and storage
Harvesting occurs when the average size of celery in a field is marketable; due to extremely uniform crop growth, fields are harvested only once. Petioles and leaves are removed and harvested celery are packed by size and quality (determined by color, shape, straightness, and thickness of stalk, midrib length, absence of disease, cracks, splits, insect damage, and rot. Under optimal conditions, celery can be stored for up to seven weeks. Freshly cut petioles of celery are prone to decay, which can be prevented or reduced through the use of sharp blades during processing, gentle handling, and proper sanitation.
Cut pieces of celery last only a few hours before they turn brown, and few American restaurants include it in green salads because it cannot be prepared far enough ahead of time. In the past, restaurants used to store it in a container of water with powdered vegetable preservative; however, the sulfites in the preservative caused allergic reactions in some people.
Try a stick smeared with peanut butter, and enjoy.