Awaken Your Tastebuds
Picking some celery the other day, I realize that the majority of Americans don't actually eat celery in its natural state. All the celery sold at the market are blanched (their stalks hidden away from the sunlight that provides the plant with chlorophyll ) Here on the urban homestead we non conformist souls have been eating unblanched celery since, well, as long as we've grown celery.
Unblanched celery has a deeper green color and a stronger flavor than blanched celery, and it's higher in nutrition. If you prefer the taste of blanched celery, try one of the self-blanching varieties, such as 'Golden Self-Blanching'. To blanch celery, open the tops and bottoms of half-gallon milk cartons and use them as "sleeves." Set the cartons over the plants a week, 10 days or even longer before you want to harvest. The color of the stalks will lighten, and their flavor will become milder.
Some people place boards close along each side of the row to blanch celery. Others simply bring soil or mulch up around the plant to block out the sun, although this method may let dirt fall into the interior of the stalks, making them hard to clean. Plants should be dry if blanched with soil or else they may rot.
There's no need to blanch the top leaves, of course, just the stalks.
It takes some getting used to because unblanched celery is exploding with taste and quite strong if the palate is not used such organic flavor. Natural celery is in a whole other taste zone than its watery, week, anemic counter part sold in the majority of markets. Everyone knows that a healthful diet consists of colorful array of fruits and veggies - how deep and rich is the color?
I find using natural celery really increases the flavor and intensity of dishes. A little goes a long way and today we've grown so used to the natural celery that we can eat it raw! Explode your taste buds and mind and grow natural!
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