What Does Celery Taste Like?

Trying to figure out if you'll like celery or not? Keep reading because we're discussing taste, texture, recipe tips and more.

Fresh green celery isolated on white

Let's take a look...

What Does Celery Taste Like? 

Weirdly enough, celery is both mild and strong at the same time. It's watery, but it's also salty in an unusual way with a lingering bitterness.

Celery also has a green sort of taste the same way spinach does. It's soft, but it's noticeable. In general, celery is very savory with distinct flavors that jump out but are somehow very moderate.

Celery Texture 

The crunchiness is the best part of eating celery. Because of its high water content, it has a lot of snap to it like carrots, only less densely fibrous.

Still, there is some fibrous nature to celery. It's a little bit stringy and can easily get stuck in your teeth if you chomp on a celery stalk. 

Is Celery Spicy? 

While there isn't a spicy flavor to celery, there is something about this vegetable that produces a strange sensation on the tongue, sort of like mint.

If you find your tongue tingling when you eat celery, you're not alone. The feeling is produced by naturally occuring chemicals called furanocoumarins, which are also found in grapefruits and limes.

How Do You Take the Bitterness Out of Celery? 

The outer, darker green stalks in a bunch of celery are going to be much more bitter than the more tender, lighter green stalks on the inside. So if you have the option, you may want to go for these inner celery bits first.

Otherwise, cooking celery makes it sweeter and essentially neutralizes the bitter taste. You can also add a dash of salt or something sweet to bring out the more delicate notes in celery.

How Can I Make Celery Taste Better? 

If you're not a fan of the taste of celery all by itself, that's O.K. Celery is usually used as an ingredient, so there are plenty of things you can do with it to make it tastier.

Soups are commonly flavored with celery leaves and stalks, which add savoriness in a similar way that bay leaf does. You can also saute celery with garlic, fresh herbs, onions and carrots for a nice medley of sweet, savory and pleasantly pungent tastes.

What Is the Best Way to Eat Celery? 

While you can eat celery raw dipped in hummus or peanut butter, you should really try adding it to your cooking to maximize the flavor potential—remember that cooking breaks down the bitter flavor and releases sweetness and fragrance.

This video shows you how to make rich vegan cream of celery soup. You'll be using vegetable broth, carrots, potatoes, celery (of course) and other easy-to-find ingredients in the fridge.

Here's a recipe for a very simple, straightforward celery stir-fry with cashews and salt. Serve it as a side dish or a snack between meals.

Roasted veggies are also perfect for celery. Watch this video to learn how to make a scrumptious roasted vegetable dish for Thanksgiving or a crisp autumn evening. You'll need the following:

  • Shallots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Butternut squash
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Dried cranberries
  • Pecans
  • Fresh herbs
  • Vegetable broth

Wrap Up

Celery can be fun to eat if you enjoy the tingly sensation on your tongue. As a raw veggie, it's salty, bitter and green in taste with tons of crunch. Cooking with celery is a good way to add flavor depth to your meals, especially soups, sauces and vegan casseroles.

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