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White Celery Leaves
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White Celery leaves are jagged, green, three-lobed leaves. They grow on thin, snow-white stalks that blend to bright green toward the top end. White Celery is a marshland plant. It is considerably smaller than Western celery, averaging just 20cm in size, and its leaves offer a stronger, peppery taste with a noticeable fragrance.
White Celery leaves are available year-round. However, like most Chinese celery, White Celery leaves are best in summer through early autumn.
White Celery is a variety of Chinese celery, and is described as a "cousin" of Western celery. White Celery goes by the botanical name of Apium graveolens, and is also known as the Celery Sprout in Japan. Some seed growers and food writers have referred to White Celery as White Queen celery and Snow White celery in their literature.
Like other varieties of Chinese celery, White Celery leaves contain vitamins A and C, as well as the B-vitamin, folate.
White Celery leaves can be used in recipes that call for Chinese celery, such as stir-fries and salads, or they can be used raw as a garnish. When cooked, they pair well with ginger, garlic and chili, as well as meats like chicken and pork. Store White Celery leaves in plastic bags in the refrigerator, where they will last for four to five days.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese celery, including White Celery, is considered to be cooling and calming, and can be used as a digestive aid. White Celery leaves have historically also been known as a popular herb in traditional Chinese medicine, and was a well-known favorite flavoring among Chinese aristocrats. In Japan, White celery leaves can commonly be found, but are primarily only used as garnish in soups and salads as its flavor is considered too strong for traditional Japanese cuisine.
White Celery likely has origins in China, where reports of the thin-stalked Chinese celery were first found as far back as 2000 BCE. It spread to Korea, and is said to have been brought to Japan around the 1500s, although it wasn’t widespread until the 1960s. White Celery is said to be easy to grow, and is known to grow best in moist, fertile soil in full sun. It prefers the cooler temperatures of spring and fall seasons.