Celery seed is the seed of the wild celery plant, a relative of the garden celery plant. The seed has a stronger flavor than the vegetable we eat and it a wonderful addition to many soups and salads. Celery seeds are often ground and added to salt to be sold as celery salt.
Wild celery is native to Europe. It has been used as a medicine for thousands of years across Asia. In the 17th century Italians began breeding garden celery and celery root for improved flavor.
The celery grown for celery seed is similar to the celery we see at the grocery store, however, it is smaller and more bitter. It requires a large amount of moisture and a long growing season. Commercially, most celery seeds come Europe and India although it is also grown in California.
Celery seeds add a nice crunch and a bitter, spicy note to soups and salad dressings. It can also be added to curry and cabbage dishes. Use sparingly.
Herbs and Spices by Jill Norman