White Celery Leaves
Inventory, bunch : 0
White Celery leaves are small to medium in size, averaging 1 to 2 centimeters in width and 2 to 5 centimeters in length, and have a broad, flat, and round appearance. The leaves are attached to long, thin, and upright, straight white stalks ranging 10 to 80 centimeters in length, and the stalks have a hollow center with a crunchy and succulent consistency. The bright green leaves contain three lobes and have deeply serrated, toothed edges. The leaves are also pliable, showcase prominent veining, and have a tender, crisp, and delicate texture. White Celery leaves are aromatic and have a vegetal, herbal, and peppery taste. Depending on the variety, the leaves can have robust flavors or be milder and more delicate.
White Celery leaves are available year-round.
White Celery leaves, botanically classified as Apium graveolens, are the leafy tops of an aromatic vegetable belonging to the Apiaceae family. The broad leaves grow on thin, upright stalks also utilized in culinary preparations and are primarily consumed in Asia as a vegetable, garnish, and herb. There are several varieties of White Celery, including Mini White and White Queen, and each cultivar will have varying strengths of flavor. Historically, ancient varieties of White Celery, especially types grown in China, have a more pungent taste and are traditionally cooked. In the 20th century, new varieties with improved characteristics were developed from these concentrated forms of White Celery and were released commercially in Japan with a milder flavor and delicate nature. This Japanese White Celery is milder in flavor and favored for fresh preparations. White Celery is grown in fields and hydroponically in greenhouses, and the leaves are a secondary crop to the crisp stalks, widely used in culinary preparations throughout Asia.
White Celery leaves are a source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, calcium to build strong bones and teeth, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, folate to develop genetic material such as DNA and RNA, and other nutrients, including vitamin A, iron, phosphorus, beta-carotene, fiber, and B vitamins. In traditional Chinese medicine, White Celery leaves are believed to have cooling properties and a calming effect on the digestive tract, often boiled and steeped into tea or added to pressed juices. The leaves are also believed to increase blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and remove heat from the body while stimulating digestion.
White Celery leaves generally have an herbal, vegetal, and peppery taste suited for fresh and cooked preparations. There are several varieties of White Celery that range in strength of flavor, and each type will be used for slightly different purposes. Mild varieties of White Celery leaves, like Mini White celery in Japan, are popularly used in fresh salads or chopped or shredded with light dressings. Milder White Celery leaves can also be used as a garnish over main dishes, blended into sauces, dips, and marinades for added flavor, or mixed into potato salads and coleslaws. Stronger-flavored White Celery leaves can be chopped with the stalks and sauteed in mirepoix, simmered into soup stalks, or mixed with vegetables in stir-fries. White Celery leaves can also be blended into smoothies and pressed juices, minced into dumplings, added to soups and stews, or boiled in dashi and sprinkled with dried bonito flakes. White Celery leaves that are traditionally used in Thai and Chinese cuisine will be slightly more robust in flavor than the White Celery leaves prepared in Japan. While less common, White Celery leaves can be utilized in other dishes as a green celery variation, served in chilled tomato gazpacho, stuffed into ravioli, dried and ground into salt, or layered into spreads for sandwiches. White Celery leaves pair well with aromatics such as ginger, garlic, onion, and chile peppers, herbs including mint, cilantro, and parsley, and meats such as chicken and pork. Unwashed White Celery leaves will keep for two to three days when wrapped in paper towels and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The stalks and leaves can also be wrapped in newspaper.
In Liyang, a city in the Jiangsu Province in the People's Republic of China, White Celery is a specialty product of the region and is grown as a culinary delicacy. White Celery has been cultivated in Liyang for over 800 years and began in the Southern Song Dynasty in the Qianjia and Tangjia villages. Within Liyang, White Celery was traditionally grown in constructed ditches, where the stalks were covered in soil to prevent the plants from receiving sunlight and turning green. This laborious process created thin, tender, and subtly crisp stalks favored for lightly cooked culinary preparations, mainly stir-fries. Historically, White Celery, also known as Baiqin in Liyang, was a seasonal dish served during the winter and spring, especially during Lunar New Year celebrations. Over time, technological advancements have allowed growers to cultivate White Celery year-round, growing the plants hydroponically in indoor dark rooms. For centuries, Liyang White Celery has been cultivated and sold as a dish unique to the Liyang region, and in 2010, the regional dish was awarded a Protection of Geographical Indication through the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China. Liyang White Celery is also exported to other regions and sold at premium prices, including in Hong Kong and Macau.
White Celery is believed to be native to China, where reports of the thin-stalked plant can be traced as far back as 2,000 BCE. Much of the origins of White Celery are unknown, but experts believe the plant may have been introduced from China to Korea in the early ages, later spreading throughout East Asia. White Celery was brought to Japan sometime during the 16th century and was introduced by Shogun Koyomasa Kato, returning from Korea, leading the celery to be nicknamed Kiyomasa carrot. Despite its 16th-century introduction, White Celery was not widespread and commercially cultivated in Japan until the Meiji Era in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1992, famous seed breeder Takii Seeds Co. developed a new variety of White Celery known as Mini White. The cultivar was created from the Chinese variety Shin Huang Seika and was bred to have a milder flavor, aroma, and tender texture, suitable for fresh and cooked preparations. Today White Celery is mainly cultivated and sold throughout East Asia, where the greens and stalks are sold in local markets, select grocers, and distributors. Outside of Asia, White Celery is grown as a specialty crop in home gardens in the United States, Europe, and Australia and is also sold through Asian supermarkets.
Recipes that include White Celery Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Food & Wine||Quick Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Garlic and Celery Leaves|