25 Facts About Celery
Last updated on December 12, 2007
King Tut’s tomb contained a shroud adorned with garlands of wild celery, olive leaves, willow, lotus petals, and cornflowers.
In The Iliad by Homer, the horses of Myrmidons graze on lotus and wild celery (selinon as the Greeks called it).
In the Odyssey by Homer, meadows of violet and wild celery surround Calypso’s cave.
Hippocrates described celery as a nerve soother.
As far back as ancient Rome, celery was considered an aphrodisiac. Today, scientists know that celery contains androsterone, a pheromone released by men’s sweat glands that attracts females.
A recipe uncovered in Pompeii for a celery dessert called for roasting chopped celery in an oven and serving it with honey and ground pepper.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus, writing around 30 AD, wrote about the use of celery seeds to relieve pain.
The first recorded mention of celery in France was in 1623.
18th century French courtesan Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, ate celery soup and truffles in an effort to adopt a “heating diet” so she would be less frigid and more attractive to the king. It is also said that she fed the king celery soup to fan the fires of his passion.
Famed Italian lover Casanova made sure to include lots of celery in his diet to keep up his stamina.
It takes just one ounce of celery seeds to produce an acre of celery.
Celery was first introduced to America in 1856 when a Scotsman named George Taylor brought celery to Kalamazoo, Michigan.
By 1872, Dutch farmers were transforming acres of Kalamazoo mucklands into celery fields.
Kalamazoo began promoting itself as the “Celery City” and became known around the country for the “strange” vegetable.
The town of Celeryville, Ohio was settled by celery farmers from Kalamazoo, Michigan who began growing the vegetable there.
There is a celery museum in Portage, Michigan called the Celery Flats Interpretive Center.
Today, California is the nation’s top celery producer. Michigan ranks fourth.
The 1897 Sears Catalog featured a nerve tonic made from celery and described celery as a “great nerve builder.”
One stalk of celery contains about 10 calories. Some contend that it contains “negative calories,” meaning that one spends more calories digesting it than are consumed when it eating it, which supposedly helps with weight loss.
The Fifth Doctor on the BBC show Doctor Who, played by Peter Davison, wore a stalk of celery on his lapel.
Celery, onions, and carrots make up the “holy trinity,” known as the “mirepoix,” of French cuisine. These three vegetables are used together as the base for many French dishes, including sauces, stews, soups, and stocks.
Celery, onions, and bell peppers are considered the “holy trinity” of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine.
People who are allergic to celery are often also allergic to mugwort pollen. Celery root contains more allergen than the stalk and is therefore more dangerous for people allergic to celery.
After a patron at the Pump Room at Chicago’s Ambassador East Hotel decided to stir his Bloody Mary with a stalk of celery, the idea caught on and celery became permanently linked with the drink.