Celeriac or Celery Root
Apium Graveolens Var. Rapaceum
|Height||:||12 Inches (30 cm)|
|Flowering||:||Summer (from the second year)|
|Properties||:||aperitif, aromatic, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic, tonic|
In contrast to celery, celeriac has little foliage and a voluminous root tuber. Celeriac is the result of several attempts to improve wild celery by reducing the number of flowers and further developing its stalks and roots.
Even though celeriac was already known in Italy during the 16th century, it took almost two centuries for it to make it to the tables of the rest of Europe. In England it was only introduced in the 19th century via Alexandria.
Essentially, it consists of a large, white, relatively smooth edible root tuber which can weigh more than 2.2 lbs. (1 kg). The plant is crowned by bright green leaves with hard, thick stalks. One the base of the tuber there are small radicles. Its taste is very strong and slightly peppery. It is cultivated from seed, initially indoors at the beginning of the spring, and later in the open, in temperature regions on neutral soil; too much fertilizer easily causes the tuber to dry up. It should, however, be watered regularly. In the middle of summer, the first still tender and sweet tubers can be harvested. However, the real harvest takes place in late August before temperature drop. To protect the plants from frost, they are covered with a layer of straw. Celeriac can be stored in a cool, dry dark cellar for a long time.
In contracts to celery, celeriac is poor in vitamin C, but contains numerous trace elements such as bromine, copper, iron, iodine, manganese, magnesium and zinc, as well as carbohydrates and great amount of cellulose. It has hardly any fat or proteins. It is a nutritional vegetable which provides lots of energy and has important medical properties. It increase the synthesis of certain hormones, it stimulates the metabolism and digestion, and is also a diuretic.