Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!..
"—and then he knelt on one knee and said—"
Crunch! Crunch! "What?"
"”¦and she looked in the box and”¦—"
"What? What was in the box?" Crunch! Crunch!
"”¦she was so excited!"
Crunch! "Was it a ring? Did he propose?"
"What? No! It was The FruitGuys TakeHome box. She was really excited to see this week’s great veggies.”
“Oh, I was munching on celery, I couldn’t hear you.”
Has this ever happened to you? Veggie Aural Obfuscation or Noisy Celery Syndrome? Celery is such a refreshing and low calorie snack, it’s easy to just munch away on it and tune out the world. There is good reason for this: celery contains the phytochemical phthalide, a compound that gives celery its smell and reduces stress and high blood pressure. In Chinese medicine, celery, along with the flavorful seeds from its blossoms, has long been linked to lowering blood pressure. With its Potassium, Folates, and Vitamin C, celery is a filling and nutritious stand-alone snack or a welcome addition to salad.
Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce) ribs are also the backbone of cooked sauces, soups, and casseroles because when cooked, they retain much of their flavor and nutrients. Flavor enhancement is a trait of the aromatic vegetable family Apiaceae, which includes celery, parsley, carrot, and fennel. The combination of celery, onions, and bell peppers is known as The Holy Trinity in Creole and Cajun cuisine; just as Mirepoix, the French combination of 1 part celery, 1 part carrot, and 2 parts onion, serves for French and Italian cuisine.
Originating in the salt marshes of the Mediterranean Sea, celery has evolved into a plant that has perfected the drawing up and retention of water. The plant has also developed its own protection from fungal infections, but this compound can make some people sensitive to celery.
The organic celery in the TakeHome cases should be rinsed under cold water and trimmed at the tops and bottoms. Some prefer to peel the large, thicker strings off. Don’t forget the quieter parts of the celery: the leaves add flavor to salads and the heart is delicious when braised.
Freshly picked veggies always taste best eaten as soon as possible. According to Cook’s Illustrated magazine, the best storage method is to completely wrap celery in aluminum foil. It should last refrigerated for a few weeks.
- Heidi Lewis