UK: Fenland celery returns to New Convent Garden

First sold for the Christmas trade in the 1800s, Fenland Celery is making a comeback and has returned to the London markets. London hotels and restaurants can source the heritage winter variety of celery through P&I Side Salads & selected caterers this season at New Covent Garden Market.

The celery is grown using traditional methods in the rich peaty soil of the Fens. The soil is banked up around the celery to protect it from frost and harvesting is done by hand. More of the leaves are kept on the celery and it is trimmed to retain more of the root – two areas of the plant with perhaps surprisingly intense flavour.

Fenland Celery is perfect for discerning chefs who are interested in the story behind the produce on their menus. It started out in the 1800s as an artisan product specially grown only for the London Christmas markets. The celery used to travel straight from the fields near Ely to London by rail. Once there, the cold, dry and frost-proof conditions of the railway arches near Old Covent Garden were considered to be the perfect storing environment!

“The way that Fenland celery is grown gives it a unique nutty flavour and it is paler in colour than standard celery as the soil is banked up around the base which has a blanching effect. It’s a really delicious vegetable that would make a great addition to any winter menu”, says Anthony Gardiner Marketing Director for G’s Fresh, growers of Fenland celery.

“Due to the risks of growing so late into the winter, G’s are only growing 150k sticks of Fenland Celery this season so it remains a real artisan product. Our application for PGI status for Fenland Celery is being processed and we are hoping that by autumn 2013 we will be able to market Fenland Celery as only the third UK produce item to achieve this privileged status”, Anthony continues.

Fenland Celery is available until mid December (weather dependant) and can be bought via P&I Side Salads & selected caterers in New Covent Garden Market, and in Waitrose.

For more information:
Ellie Lean
Tel: 0044 117 924 7220

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