Taste of celery

I just finished a discussion with my wife and her siblings, in which celery came up, and I was dumbfounded by the reaction I got from them.

I have eaten celery since I was a young child, cooked in stuffing or soups, raw with dip or peanut butter, and every way in-between. My brother-in-law mentioned how he has to pick celery out of his stuffing, because if he bites it unawares he has the urge to gag because of the overwhelming taste that floods his mouth (and his siblings concur). This baffled be, because to me, celery is a very bland, almost flavorless vegetable. It tastes to me like stringy water.

I pride myself on my fantastic sense of smell, and I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with my taste buds (though I get dirty looks when I say I don’t like raw tomatoes, akin to saying I hate babies’ laughter).

How do all of you feel about celery? Does anyone know if it might have something to do with a chemical/genetic thing? Like how some people cannot taste PROP?

I don’t know. But to me, celery is very mild and has a slightly numbing taste (like Szechuan pepper), and I don’t hate it.

Maybe feed your in-laws some Szechuan peppercorns and see if they hate that too.

But, more importantly, where do I go if I want to taste some PROP or PTC, as per the wikipedia article on Supertasters?

Maybe it’s like cilantro. There’s a genetic-resesive trait that causes it to taste like soap to those who have the trait.

I agree that celery is very bland, except when it isn’t.
There are times when it has a rather bitter after taste. It has something to do with growing conditions, but i can’t remember what. Too hot too cool, too rainy, not rainy enough. I’m sure it’s one of those, unless it isn’t. :smiley:

Celery tastes either fresh and radishy spicy or if it’s bad/out of season dishwatery bland to me. When I mention celery being spicy to someone they act surprised.

I can’t imagine anyone objecting to the taste of celery, on the grounds of its strong taste. It’s one of the mildest foods I can think of. I suspect a genetic factor.

That being said . . . what do you have against raw tomatoes?

Celery is awful. It has a weird taste to me that I really dislike.

I don’t like the taste of celery or raw tomatoes.

Celery I find oddly bitter, with a flavor that over powers everything else in the dish. My husband is in the “tastes like crunchy water group”. My kids split the difference.

Tomatoes - I will eat homegrown tomatoes in sandwiches. I can’t stand raw, commercially grown tomatoes. They’re bland, usually not ripe, and have wayyyy too much of that disgusting, oozing jelly in the middle.

Curious, celery has a very distinctive taste. Aniseedy-licouricey. Not massively strong but definitely there and I wouldn’t call it “bland”.

I have had celery that is the crunchy watery variety, but I’ve also had it taste radish-peppery to me, too. In the case of the latter it’s milder when cooked and it’s fine for me, I’ve never picked it out of anything, but if I want it raw with peanut butter I like the more bland variety.

I feel like I’ve run across the more radish-peppery tasting stuff since I started buying organic, but that could just be confirmation bias. I don’t buy it enough to be sure that’s it.

Celery clearly has a distinctive and unpleasant taste for me.

I never knew that! So that explains why I detest the stuff!

I find celery to be a bland but generally unappealing comestible.

Celery belongs to the family Apiaceae, so it’s kissin’-cousin to parsley,* parsnips, carrots, anise, fennel, chervil, and yes, cilantro leaves/coriander seed. Considering these various flavors as a group, I think the flavor of celery fits right in. More of a fresh and astringent taste, though, in comparison to the relatively sweet tastes of the others. Coriander seed has this characteristic too, with some citrusy notes.

*Parsley is named after celery, from Greek petro-selinon ‘rock celery’.
Trivia fun fact: “Parsley and Celery” is an obscene folk song from Hungary which Béla Bartók included, sans lyrics, in his piano collection For Children.

Moderator Action

Since the OP is asking about the opinions of others regarding a food item, this is best suited to Cafe Society. Note that the factual question about a possible genetic or chemical involvement may still be addressed there.

Moving thread from General Questions to Cafe Society.

I’m with the “bland” crowd, although sometimes I will get some that has a very strong mineral-y, almost metallic sort of taste.

Celery…mmmmm, I love it! It’s so versatile, good raw or cooked and everything in between!

I cut it and slice it the size of fresh green beans, then boil it up with the green beans, Yummo! And I always use the celery leaves, in fried rice, dressing, soups, or salads, it adds a lovely back note flavour.

Even better is Chinese celery, narrower stalks, usually much longer, and a slightly stronger flavour, I love it! Especially in a spicy seafood salad called Yum Talay, it’s the best!

Cooked celery usually tastes bad in a way that raw celery usually doesn’t. I’ve wondered if people use younger, more flavorful celery in their cooking.

Hey, that’s a great idea! Will have to try that.

Celery tastes of the earth to me, in the same way beets and radishes do, only milder. It’s a mineral taste. I don’t like the pale ends raw, somehow they have more of the bitter flavor and less of the piquant. But it all goes into stewed dishes. I wish celery had more vitamins, though, because I do put in everything! We go through a package every week or so.

It tastes and smells very strongly to me. I can’t really describe it, it’s distinctly celery. I can live with it cooked in a few dishes, but raw the flavor is too strong, and I don’t care for it. Husband thinks it tastes like water. Must be something genetic.

I like celery. It’s not a strong flavor to me but I do like it and I’ll probably use more of it than most for flavoring. It’s hard for me to understand how it can be overwhelming, but then there are flavors I don’t like that other people love. Don’t get me started on coffee as an example.

I’m fine with celery cooked or raw as sticks but I absolutely hate it when it is diced and mixed into tuna/chicken salad. When I bite on a bit in those it does indeed seem to overwhelm and destroy the other flavors in the mix.

I always ask at a new deli/restaurant if celery is included in those kinds of dishes and won’t order if it is. And I’m NOT a picky eater, in fact, that’s the only ingredient/dish combo I ever do ask about.