German: Echter Sellerie
Portuguese: salsão, aipo
From the Lombard word seleri, ultimately from the Latin selenon. The plant was originally believed to be under the influence of the moon goddess, Selene.
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.
During the reign of Louis XV, the Prince of Conti, whose primary concern was beautiful women, would have celery soup for supper: it kept him in fine form in case the evening required his gallantry. On frescoes found in Pompeii, celery is shown as a symbol of love. Two more recent proverbs describe its outstanding qualities: “Celery revitalizes old husbands,” and “If women knew what celery could do for their husbands, they would go all the way to Rome to find it.”
There are two kinds of celery:
- Celery, properly speaking, of which the stalks and leaves are eaten;
- And celeriac (celery root), used for its root.
An umbelliferous garden plant.
Celery grows in temperate countries, 12-16” above the ground. It forms a “head” of plump ridged stalks topped with tender leaves.
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