Celery Flakes: At a Glance
Celery flakes are made from the dehydrated stalks and leaves of celery, which are washed, chopped, and dried to make this unique ingredient. Celery is one of the “holy trinity” of vegetables — celery, bell peppers, and onions — that forms the core of most Cajun dishes.
In the United States, celery is often consumed raw, but many recipes call for cooked celery; in this case, celery flakes are an easy, accessible alternative.
Native to the Mediterranean and Middle East, celery has been used throughout the world for centuries as a cooking and medicinal ingredient. This seasoning is often used in soups and stews or as a replacement for fresh celery. Pungent and savory, celery flakes are a great way to add umami to a dish.
Cooking with Celery Flakes
Celery flakes are a concentrated version of raw celery, and, consequently, have a more robust and intense flavor. When substituting flakes for fresh celery, you need about only one teaspoon of celery flakes for every two teaspoons of raw celery.
Dried celery flakes have many culinary applications. They may be added to salt to make celery salt, blended into barbeque rubs or marinades, or stirred into soups. If you enjoy the taste of celery, having celery flakes on hand will allow you to experiment with different ways of adding the flavor and aroma of celery to your meals.
- Seasoning mixes: Dried celery flake can be combined with many spices to create easy-to-use spice mixes. Try it in this Jambalaya mix, which, when combined with shrimp, sausage, and a few other ingredients, becomes a delicious and simple Cajun-style Jambalaya.
- Salads: Celery flakes can be added to salads — fresh, cooked, and pasta — for an umami bite. For example, try a spring bean salad for a refreshing, healthy way to incorporate celery flakes into your menu.
Celery flakes can be rehydrated by soaking (using a ratio of 1 part flakes to 3 parts water) for about five minutes. Drain off excess liquid before use.
In addition to being used as a culinary ingredient, celery flakes have been used to treat urinary tract infections, obesity, dehydration, and constipation. They are a good source of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
Celery Flakes: History and Origination
The leaves and stalks of celery have been consumed throughout the world for centuries. Celery flakes are often used as a flavoring or spice, either whole or ground, and are an important ingredient in Indian and European cuisine.
Leaf celery, the cultivar found in East Asia, is likely the oldest form of celery. It was in East Asia that the Ayurveda utilized celery for its herbal healing properties. It was also used in ancient times to address water retention issues, arthritis, and inflammation.
Celery leaves were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, who was buried in 1323 BC. Celery was likely used for medicinal purposes before 850 BC. By the classical period, celery was being cultivated more widely; it was treated as a holy plant and being increasingly used in cooking. It is mentioned in ancient Greek texts, such as Homer’s Iliad, and in writings from medieval Europe, to name only a few of its appearances.
While contemporary celery is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean, wild celery is found throughout the world.
The early forms of celery were very bitter. For this reason, celery wasn’t consumed widely until the Italians domesticated it in the 17th century. From there, it became popular in cooked dishes in Europe, made its way to the Americas, and was typically eaten raw in the 19th century.
Cultivation of Celery Flakes
Celery flakes come from the celery plant (apium graveolens), a slender marshland plant. Celery plans grow to about 3 feet tall, with long fibrous stalks, segmented leaves, and small white flowers.
Growing celery is generally considered to be a challenging task. The celery plant has a long growing season but a low tolerance for cold and heat. Because of its temperament, celery is often grown in a hot bed or an open garden, depending on the season and location.
Celery is harvested in the second year of development, and fields are typically harvested only once a year. Once the plant is harvested, its stalk and leaves are dehydrated in a warm, dry area. After drying, the pieces are crumbled, crushed, or cut into small pieces (or flakes). As a result of this drying process, celery flakes have a more intense flavor than raw celery.
About Our Celery Flakes
Our celery flakes come from farms in California, USA. California has two regions that are ideal for growing and producing celery. These are located on the southern and central coasts. While growing celery is difficult, these regions have the right climate, irrigation, and soil attributes for this marshland plant to thrive.
We source our celery flakes from quality producers in the central valley of sunny California.