Botanical name: Apium graveolens
History and origins
Its origin is to be found in the Mediterranean basin, as evidenced by the etymology of the name, deriving from the Greek "selinon". Further confirmation is provided by the city of Selinunte, in Sicily, belonging to the Magna Graecia. The plant then spread throughout Europe, where it is still cultivated today, in large part, above all for culinary use.
The celery plant belongs to the macro family of Apiaceae, which includes carrot and fennel, among others. There are, in nature, different varieties, but the best known and used are celeriac, of which the foliage and its stem are edible, celeriac, of which unlike the previous one, the root is used. Another variety used, albeit in smaller quantities, is celery from herbs, so-called "sedanino", of which only the leaves are used as seasoning.
Nutritional and beneficial properties of Celery
This precious food, in addition to the well-known characteristic of being low-calorie, boasts nutritional properties of the highest value. Rich in fiber, helps to counteract the onset of bad cholesterol, triglycerides and bronchitis.
Fat is almost completely absent, while it is rich in calcium, vitamins and magnesium. Elements that our body needs to function at its best. The constant intake of this vegetable has diuretic and purifying effects on the body, furthermore the presence of a substance, called sedanin, gives it an aromatic taste, favoring the elimination of gases, which form in the stomach and intestines.
Its seeds are widely used in phytotherapy, as qualities are attributed to it, which alleviate gout, rheumatic pains and obesity. In short, a small jewel that nature has given us. Learning its uses is equivalent to improving our body, promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Use of Celery in the kitchen
Celery is an absolutely recommended vegetable, in all types of diets, due to its low calories. Its three most important varieties are known, above all for their use in the culinary art. All differ in shape and taste, for example the celery has a more intense aroma than its cousin celeriac, with a more delicate taste, therefore used as the true protagonist of many recipes. As already mentioned, the sedanino is used as a condiment, perhaps for salads or in the preparation of vinaigrette, which will flavor steamed vegetables and fish.Celery is an absolutely recommended vegetable, in all types of diets, due to its low calories. Its three most important varieties are known, above all for their use in the culinary art. All differ in shape and taste, for example the celery has a more intense aroma than its cousin celeriac, with a more delicate taste, therefore used as the true protagonist of many recipes. As already mentioned, the sedanino is used as a condiment, perhaps for salads or in the preparation of vinaigrette, which will flavor steamed vegetables and fish.
In the great Italian culinary tradition, celery from the coast cannot be ignored from one of the most famous recipes in the world, that is the Bolognese sauce. Despite being one of the many ingredients, and not the main one, its presence determines the success of one of the most popular sauces. Seeing is believing. The fresh taste, and the lively color of the celery from the coast, go well with the strong flavors of creamy cheeses, such as gorgonzola or goat cheese. Excellent combinations to prepare a quick and tasty appetizer. Celeriac is ideal for autumn and winter creams, enriched with porcini mushrooms and croutons in oil. Get creative and enjoy your meal!
Privileged over the centuries for the virtues attributed to it, celery has been mentioned by men of genius, since the time of Hippocrates, who reminds us that a little of this herb calms the "upset nerves". An interesting curiosity is given by the uses of the Greeks, who believe the plant is so valuable that they do not use it, otherwise it would be ruined. Thesis consolidated by Homer, in fact the Greek poet in a passage of his epic poem, The Iliad, tells that Achilles' horse was healed thanks to the therapeutic properties of the plant.
The interpretation of the Romans was diametrically opposed, who, although recognizing its value, used it extensively in the kitchen. In addition, it was customary during banquets to prepare wreaths with its leaves for the guests because, they believed, it would avert the states of drunkness.
An interesting interpretation of the plant as an aphrodisiac was born in the Italian fifteenth century, and spread to such an extent that it was used until the eighteenth century by European courtesans, to stimulate pleasure. Truth and legends are confused, for a plant that has managed to survive over the centuries.