Timely re­vival for a Vic­to­rian favourite

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Front Page -

Cel­ery has been co-opted by the healthy eaters – the calo­rie-coun­ters and the hum­mus dip­pers. The weedy stuff avail­able from su­per­mar­kets fits this im­pres­sion. It is of­ten stringy and bland, de­fined by what it lacks – flavour and bulk – rather than what it has.

It was not al­ways this way. In Vic­to­rian times, win­ter cel­ery was prized as a de­li­cious Christ­mas treat. Grown in the Fens, this cel­ery would be “earthed up” from Septem­ber to pro­long its sea­son and raise its price. Come win­ter, it would be freshly picked and rushed down to Lon­don on the new rail­way lines, to take its place next to the cheeses on Dick­en­sian din­ner plates, of­ten served in a highly col­lectible (nowa­days) glass cel­ery vase.

Fen­land cel­ery is mak­ing a come­back. It has been grown by a few farm­ers for nearly 50 years, but this sum­mer it was awarded Pro­tected Ge­o­graph­i­cal In­di­ca­tion (PGI) sta­tus by the EU. The des­ig­na­tion, which guards against imi­ta­tion, means Fen­land cel­ery joins Mel­ton Mow­bray pork pies and cham­pagne, among oth­ers, on a list of pro­tected prod­ucts. It is good news for G’s Fresh, the pro­ducer that led the four-year

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