What is Celery Seed?
Derived from the Latin word sedano, celery has been used by the Greeks historically as a medicine and as a sign of victory. The Romans were the first to value it as a seasoning, and later it became a delicacy for Italians and French. It was only in the nineteenth century that North Americans began to use celery seed, mainly in pickling solutions. Today Europeans commonly use the leaves for soups and sauces and as a garnish, and the stalks and roots as vegetables or salads. Bengalis use the ground seeds of a related species while the Chinese and Southeast Asians use a local celery leaf to flavor many of their dishes.
Origin and Varieties
Celery seed is native to eastern and southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It is cultivated in India, France, Britain, Japan, China, Hungary, and the United States. The seeds are cultivated from the original wild celery variety. Another cultivated celery variety is eaten for its stalk, leaves, and seeds. Celeriac or celery root, yet another celery variety, is savored for its root.
Celery Seed Substitute
One teaspoon of celery seed equals 2 tablespoons minced celery tops. Other options are dill seed or celery salt (reduce the salt elsewhere in the recipe).
Health Benefits of Celery Seed
Romans used celery seed in herbal tonics as an aphrodisiac, while the Greeks used it in love potions. Celery was traditionally used as a sedative for nervousness or to promote sleep. It reduces swelling and was used to treat gout and arthritis. In India, it was taken as a remedy for rheumatism.
Garden celery and wild celery. Many global names call the seed, leaf, and stalk by similar names. Celery seed is also called karaf (Arabic), lakhod garos (Armenian), chiluri (Bengali), kun choi, qin chai (Cantonese, Mandarin), selleri (Danish), selderij (Dutch), karafs (Farsi), celeri (French), sellerie(German), bodia jamoda (Gujerati), seleri (Hebrew), ajmud (Hindi), serori (Japanese), sedano (Italian), aipo (Portuguese), si sang (Laotian), ajmoda (Marathi), seldjerey (Russian), apio (Spanish), selderi, daun sop (Malaysian, Indonesian), selleri (Swedish and Norwegian), kinchay (Tagalog), kheun chai (Thai), kereviz (Turkish), ajmod (Urdu), and can tay (Vietnamese). C Celeriac is also called turnip root or knob celery.
A graveolens opium
Family: Apiaceae (parsley family)