ts sweet, lightly aromatic flavor makes it perfect to eat raw with dips.
Lazio is the top Italian region in terms of surface area for the production of celery (Apium graveolens subsp. dulce). Protected cultivation areas are mainly concentrated in the province of Latina, especially in the towns of Sperlonga and Fondi, which began to produce white celery in the mid-1960s. The terrain there is made of layers of earth barely above water levels, and includes the reclaimed land which stretches to the sea. This was known as “the bog”, where celery had historically been produced. Through selective growing, the ecotype “Sperlonga white celery” gets superb results for both production and quality. This vegetable needs extensive work to develop its white stalks and to delay the appearance of its flower-bearing bud.
White celery gained PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status in 2012. It’s sweet and mildly aromatic, so it’s great eaten raw with dips or paired with oily fish. The leaves and stalks are often used in soups and meat dishes, and it’s perfect in meat tartare. Sperlonga white celery has even been used to make gelato and sorbet.
Did you know
By 1000 BC, celery was already well known and appreciated for its healing properties. Homer mentioned it in the Odyssey as a medicinal herb. More references to its medical use resurfaced in Medieval times, when the abbess Hildegard of Bingen spoke of celery as a cure-all for any ailment. Even today it’s commonly used in smoothies and juices because it has purifying effects and helps with water retention.