Fenland celery is a unique white winter celery that is available to buy from October through to the end of December.
A British heritage ingredient, whose delicate sweet, nutty taste and clean, crisp texture is owed to the traditional growing methods and rich, Fenland soil in which it is grown. Fenland celery is part of an exclusive club of quality British foods that have earned Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Commission.
This special crop is only available for 8 short weeks… the advice is to get it while you can!
Fenland celery dates back to the Victorian times when the crop was specially grown in the Fens for sale in the Christmas markets in London. It was extremely popular and became a feature of the Victorian Londoner’s Christmas dinner.
Cambridgeshire producer G’s Fresh revived Fenland celery a decade ago. After bringing the 150 year-old crop home to London’s prestigious New Covent Garden Market, Fenland celery quickly attracted a loyal following of chefs and foodies. Now Fenland celery is available nationwide, through good retailers.
Today’s Fenland celery looks much the same as it did 150 years ago. Look out for its leafy top and pale white stick, cut to a point by hand, as dictated by tradition.
Growing Fenland celery is a true labour of love. Grown in wide rows with deep trenches, the crop is tended to using traditional techniques, including a process known as ‘earthing up’ which involves banking up the rich, dark soil around the celery as it grows. ‘Earthing up’ keeps the celery warm and protected from the winter frost – blanching the sticks to a distinctive pale white hue. Find out more about how Fenland celery is grown in the words of our expert grower.
What makes it so special?
Fenland celery is a truly unique British crop. Only by immersing the celery in rich Fenland soil can its nutty, sweet flavour and famous crisp crunch be guaranteed.
In 2013 the European Commission gave recognition to this by granting the crop Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, joining the ranks of Italian Parma Ham and French Champagne. Fenland celery is first English vegetable to receive the award which protects the history, tradition and provenance for future generations to enjoy.
Fenland celery is available for October to December from Waitrose, Ocado and Co Op.
Find out more – www.fenlandcelery.com