Friday, May 24, 2013

How to Buy Celery

Celery, a popular vegetable for a variety of uses, is available throughout the year.  Production is concentrated in California, Florida, Michigan, and New York.  Most celery is of the so-called "Pascal" type which includes thick-branched, green varieties.

When buying look for freshness and crispness.  The stalk should have a solid, ridge feel and leaflets should be fresh or only slightly wilted.  Also look for a glossy surface, stalks of light green or medium green, and mostly green leaflets.

Avoid wilted celery and celery with flabby upper branches or leaf stems.  You can freshen celery somewhat by placing the butt end in water but badly wilted celery will never become really fresh again.  Also avoid celery with pithy, hollow or discolored centers in the branches.  Celery with internal discoloration will show some gray or brown on the inside surface of the larger branches near where they are attached to the base of the stalk.  Avoid celery with 1.  "Blackheart," a brown or black discoloration of the small center branches.  2.  Insect injury in the center branches or the insides of outer branches. and 3. long, thick seed-stem in places of the usually small, tender heart branches.
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