1. It’s not just for eating.
The ancient Greeks used celery leaves as laurels for athletes and garlands for the dead. The ancient Romans supposedly wore a wreath of celery to ward off a hangover.
2. The leaves are spicy.
Slightly milder than black pepper, celery leaves are often used in cooking to add a mild spicy flavor. You can dry them to sprinkle on as a seasoning for fish or meat, or in stews. If you plan on eating the leaves raw (totally fine!), use them as soon as possible after you buy your celery because they don’t store well for long.
3. You could be allergic.
Similar to peanut allergies, celery can provoke severe allergic reactions and even potentially fatal anaphylactic shock for people with a celery allergy. The allergen does not appear to be destroyed at cooking temperatures.
4. But if you’re not, it’s really good for you.
While it’s not true that it takes more calories to eat a stalk of celery than are contained in the celery (sorry, folks), celery is still really, really good for you. It’s full of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K, folate, potassium and manganese and provides riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. As far as calories go? A single stalk contains about 6.
5. It used to be more expensive than caviar.
We’re not kidding! According to The Sporkful podcast, celery was the avocado toast of the late 1800s and early 1900s. According to the New York Public Library’s historical menu archive, celery was the third most popular dish on NYC menus in those days, behind only tea and coffee. It was often served in special celery vases to be salted and eaten raw. Who would have thought…
6. It makes practically any soup even better.
With its crunchy texture and fresh taste, any dish that calls for a medley of vegetables will benefit from the inclusion of celery. Don’t take our word for it, try adding celery to: