Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery or celeriac, depending on whether the petioles (stalks) or roots are eaten: celery refers to the former and celeriac to the latter. Apium graveolens is used around the world as a vegetable, either for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk) or the fleshy toproot. In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds. Actually very small fruit, these “seeds” yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. Celery seeds can be used as flavoring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery, onions, and bell peppers are the holy trinity of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. Celery, onions, and carrots make up the French mirepoix, often used as a base for sauces and soups. Celery is a staple in many soups, such as chicken noodle soup.
Whole celery seeds add interesting texture and taste to salads, breads, and casseroles. They’re also a key ingredient in some ethnic dishes and spice blends including celery salt, bouquet garni, pickling blends and curries.