fenland celery

The term protected geographical  indication normally brings to mind such items as champagne, parma ham or maybe Melton Mowbray pies but recently, another less obvious item has received the same recognition... namely Fenland celery which was awarded the status last year and became the first English vegetable to have the coveted award.

Fenland celery ( also known as dirty celery by locals ) has a short season between October and January. The rich, dark soil of the Cambridgeshire fens around Ely in which it is grown contributes to its distinctive nutty flavour and the tradition of earthing the soil up means it has a paler colour.

Celery, like many other fruit and vegetables, is now available all year long, but Fenland celery with its short season was, in Victorian times, a prized addition to the Christmas feast and was often presented in special celery vases.
Recently, due to its protected status, Fenland celery has been enjoying a resurgence.

I came home from our local greengrocer yesterday with some fenland celery, the black fen soil still clinging to the pale stems. It's not difficult to see why it is also called dirty celery!

With its delicious taste, it seemed best to enjoy it raw and this recipe for hummus seemed to be the perfect accompaniment.

It made a lovely lunch.

P.S. my blog posts have been a little sparse lately. There are two reasons for this:

1. computer problems! My old laptop died and I was getting to grips with windows 8 on a new machine when it was found to be faulty and had to be returned. I am now mastering a chromebook and so far we are getting on well together ....

2. the imminent arrival of our first grandchild. Baby's due date has come and gone and we are still waiting! But lovely daughter number 1 is coping very well and is still blooming.


  1. I love fen celery. We used to always buy it when we visited my grandparents who loved in the fens. We used to fight over who got to eat the attached root too, similar in textrude to celeriac but we'd never heard of that then!

  2. I love fen celery too. I always buy it when I see it and I am so glad that it is now being appreciated. As a child, I remember having it for high tea, served in a green glass celery jar with a little dish of salt for dipping.
    Best wishes to your daughter, how exciting for you all!

  3. Exciting times with your daughter, hope all goes well. I love celery, but I have never had fenland celery.

  4. How lovely, I'd never heard of Fen celery. I like the idea of a special celery jar. Wishing your daughter all the best - exciting times! CJ xx

  5. You've reminded me that my gran loved celery and yes. she had a celery jar (though she called it a celery vase) which I think my mother inherited but who knows where it is now. Your lunch looks so good. I've been using Nigella's hummus recipe which switches peanut butter for the tahini and I can highly recommend it. very best wishes to your girlie. Exciting times indeed.

  6. What an exciting time for you! Best wishes to you and your expanding family.

  7. Congratulations! You must be very excited.
    And thank you for the link - I'm a bit of a hummus addict :)


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