Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Atrocious Fetor of Celery

(Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

I have been away for far too long. I really have no excuse for neglecting this food blog, other than I have been busy working and haven't had a lot of time for fun. Well, I am going to try and remedy that now.

Let's talk about celery. I'm not here to dissect the entire plant or discuss the different varieties and all of the different applications. For this post, I am addressing your ordinary, benign(?!?!), basic celery bunch that you can grab at the market.

I really don't hate celery, even though the title of this post might suggest otherwise. I enjoy using it in many dishes, and those dishes just wouldn't be the same without it.

My issue with celery can best be summed up by this picture that I ran across when I was browsing in Wikimedia Commons:

Stalk of the Celery Monster

Photo Courtesy of Wikimeida Commons

I don't know the history behind the above photo, but I am hoping that the person responsible is a kindred spirit, because I do feel stalked by the Celery Monster after I am in contact with celery. I seem to have a sensitivity to the odor. I know I can't possibly be the only one. I have questioned others about it but so far, they don't have an issue with celery odor. If I touch it, it lingers for an extremely long time...or at least, my nose detects it for an extremely long time. For example: If I buy celery at the market, I can still detect the odor of celery in the car the next day. It is that pervasive, for me, anyway.

I have tried to link it to an experience in the past, and the thing I could recall was an experience with a TV dinner many, many years ago. It was fried rice. I don't recall the brand. But the fried rice was so overloaded with celery that it was ridiculous. I could not even finish it. When I think of it right now it makes me want to gag. So maybe this affliction is linked to that TV dinner.

I don't have any issue with dicing onions or garlic. The lingering odor from either of those does not bother me at all. It is rather pleasant to make a dish with garlic and still detect the heady odor later. But even those odors can't compete with celery. Touching celery is like sticking a toe in "The Bog of Eternal Stench" - except you smell celery forever, (instead of smelling like the noxious odor of the bog).

I try to stay positive about celery. Mirepoix (celery, carrot, and onion) obviously would not work without celery. Mirepoix is essential for a good stock. You can make it without it, but the flavor is not the same. I have even resorted to using celery seeds in stock if there is no celery in the fridge.


Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Similarly, can you imagine gumbo, as well as many other Cajun dishes, without the Cajun Holy Trinity? No way!!!

The Cajun Holy Trinity
(Onion, Bell pepper, and Celery)

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Celery is an aromatic and it just MUST be used in many different dishes, all of which would suffer greatly without it. Stuffing (or dressing) for the Thanksgiving turkey; fried rice (yes, in a reasonable amount); Waldorf Salad (which would simply not be a Waldorf Salad if it didn't contain celery); and even that requisite stalk of celery in your typical Bloody Mary. That's just an extremely tiny sample of the use of celery. I could go on for days about the importance of celery, but it's not necessary. Your palate will tell you that.

But that odor!!! Holy Stench, Batman!

I would love to hear from others who have an issue with "The Stalk of the Celery Monster."

I'm hoping to be a better blog steward, especially with the extra time most of us have on our hands during this time. I have some interesting food adventures to share, so I will make a point of blogging about food as much as possible, when I'm taking a break from working in the garden & growing more food.

See you soon, Food Lovers! ♥️♥️♥️

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