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Celeriac belongs to the family of Apiaceae. This family includes direct relatives of celeriac, such as the commonly known vegetables carrot, parsnip and fennel as well as numerous aromatic herbs such a dill, parsley and lovage. Celeriac originally comes from the wild or sump celery usually found worldwide in humid, salty soil; hence the good salt tolerance and the high water demand of celeries as a crop (Wonneberger et al. 2004). The use of celeriac as a vegetable in Central Europe was first documented during the Middle Ages.

The celery root is mainly round and only partially grows in the ground. Its colour ranges from light-grey to sandy-coloured, often accompanied by a slightly greenish colour. The flesh of the root is white and has a firm or slightly elastic structure.

Celery has a strong and spicy flavour with its own very special aroma, which is partly because of the amount of essential oils. One major component of these essential oils are terpenes, a group of secondary plant substances.

Celeriac prefers a moderate climate. It has high water requirements but does not tolerate waterlogged soil, therefore soil with a high proportion of humus and good water management are ideal for cultivation. Celery is sensitive to frost, so the first planting activities take place under a fleece cover. Safe outdoor cultivation is possible after the Ice Saints from the middle of May onwards.

At harvest time, the young celeriac comes with foliage as a so-called bouquet. The mature roots can then be harvested from the middle of October. These can be stored and successively prepared for market well into the following year. Best-case scenario: domestically produced celeriac is available virtually all year round.

Download: Crop calendar

Pickled celeriac is often used in the industry. It is also a favourite ingredient for soups and salads, fried, steamed or boiled or as a warm vegetable side dish.

Celery should be stored or pickled in a cool, dry place.

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