Celery is a fibrous, watery stalk that is crucial for any good soup base and can also be a snack if you want something light and nutritious. But did you know that in the Victorian era, celery was a huge sign of wealth? Even though it might sound crazy — since celery is considered by many as one of the most boring vegetables — the history of celery is one of high class royalty.
The wealthy people of the Victorian era used celery in a very different way than we think of today. Instead of hiding it away in dishes, they actually displayed in on their dinner tables as a sign of wealth. They even had special glass and crystal vases that were made specially for celery, and would be used almost like a centerpiece. Guests could also take a stalk if they wanted to during the meal.
The celery was also a little different back then, as it was much paler, almost white in some cases. There is also evidence that celery was served on certain menus at fine dining restaurants and country clubs in big cities.
But as the celery vases were produced in larger quantities and agricultural advancements made celery easier to grow, it lost its prestige by the beginning of the 20th century.
Even though now celery is a regular thing now, maybe the next time you eat a stalk you’ll appreciate it more knowing it was once quite the elegant ingredient.