Organic Ground Celery Seeds
Celery, Apium graveolens, is from the family Apiaceae (parsley family). Other members of this family include asafoetida, caraway, carrots, culantro, dill, fennel and parsley. Commonly used as a vegetable, different parts of the world will use celery's roots, stalks, or seeds in cooking or they may be eaten raw (especially the stalks).
Celery is native to eastern and southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Celery seeds are technically considered a fruit and are a relative newcomer to the spice world. These seeds are the smallest of any used for seasoning. Celery seeds are so small that it takes more than 45,000 of them to yield one ounce. But don't let their diminutive size fool you, as it only takes a couple of these tiny, aromatic seeds to bring on a mouthful of celery stalk flavor!
Celery seeds are grayish green to brown in color and their texture and size has been compared to poppy seeds. Celery seeds have a stronger and more intense flavor than the root, stem or leaf.
While not well-known in Western herbal medicine, celery seed has been used medicinally in other parts of the world for thousands of years. Ayurvedic medicine used celery seed in ancient times to treat arthritis, colds, poor digestion, flu, certain diseases of the liver and spleen and water retention. Ayurvedic medicine ("Ayurveda" for short) is one of the world's oldest holistic ("whole-body") healing systems and was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It's based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the body, mind and spirit.
Celery Seeds have 2% to 3% essential oil, primarily terpenes, mostly limonene (68%). In our facility we grind our organic celery seed once or twice a week (depending on sales) to ensure maximum flavor.
Celery Seeds are called karaf (Arabic), qin chai (Mandarin), celeri (French), sellerie (German), ajmud (Hindi), serori (Japanese), aipo (Portuguese), seldjerey (Russian) and apio (Spanish).
The oldest record of the word "celeri" is from a 9th-century poem written in France or Italy, describing the medicinal merits and uses of the plant.
Celery leaves, which were entwined into garlands, were discovered in the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun (better known as King Tut, who was born in 1341 BC and ruled from 1332 to 1323 BC when he died at the age of 19). An archeological dig in the southern region of Samos, Greece uncovered pieces of celery seed bearing carpels that dated back to 600 BC.
When it was first cultivated in Italy and northern European gardens in the 1500s, it was still a primitive wild plant and was used strictly for medicinal purposes. In 1623, the use of celery as a food was first recorded in France, and by the middle of the 17th century the little stalks and leaves were occasionally eaten with an oil dressing in both France and Italy.
In the late 1600s and early 1700s, in England, France and Italy, domestication improvements of wild celery were taking hold. Farmers found that much of the overly potent flavor could be drastically reduced by growing the plants in late summer and early fall and keeping them until winter. This made the stalks more palatable for use in salads.
By the mid-18th century in Sweden, wealthier families were enjoying celery that had been stored in cellars as a wintertime luxury. The use of celery, as we know it today, spread rapidly from there. There are no documents showing which group of European colonists introduced celery to America, but by 1806 there were four noted cultivated varieties found throughout the east coast region.
Celery Seed doesn't actually come from the same celery plant that we eat.
The ancestor of celery that most of us recognize is a plant called "wild celery" or "smallage" and celery seeds come from wild celery. From Smallage, two descendants were carefully cultivated. "Stem Celery", the celery that we eat for its stalks, and "Celeriac", the celery that we eat for its roots. Wild celery does not flower its first year and produces white flowers in its second year, which then become the seeds.
Celery Seed is commercially cultivated in India, France, Britain, Japan, China, Hungary, and the United States. The seeds grown in India are stronger and larger than Chinese celery seeds, while French seeds are a bit darker.
Depending on the time of year, our organic celery seed may be cultivated in Egypt, India, the Netherlands or the US.
Bengalis and North Indians add celery seeds to chutneys, curries and pickles. Acadians (French colonists who first settled on Canada's eastern shore and then also migrated down into Louisiana and later became known as Cajuns) have long used celery seeds, along with mustard, bay and thyme, as one of their foundation spices in their seasoning blends.
Celery seeds can be used in a variety of dishes in their freshly ground or whole form. Use the distinctive, pungent flavor of celery seeds in your bread, brine recipes, casseroles, chicken soup, cole slaw, eggs, meat, pickles, vegetable dishes, gravies, salad dressings, sauces, sauerkraut, stuffing, stews and fresh tomato juice.
Celery seeds works well in combination with salt, onion and bell peppers.
Cooking tends to enhance its sweetness and reduce its bitterness. Too much celery seed can overpower a dish, whereas a little enhances the flavors in other foods.
Celery seed has a hay-like, grassy, slightly bitter taste and aroma.
You can also substitute Celery Seed in many dishes that call for fresh celery.
One teaspoon of celery seed equals 2 tablespoons minced celery tops. Replacements for celery seed include dill seed or celery salt (reduce the salt if called for elsewhere in the recipe).
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*