What Does Celery Taste Like?

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There is plenty to rave about when it comes to celery’s health benefits, but not many people talk about its flavor. Yeah, celery is not only nutritious but also owns several unique flavor properties.

Many people wonder what celery tastes like and what makes it so popular since we’ve seen it is hailed as the cure to everything. Well, celery is unlike any herb or vegetable you’ve tried. Strangely, celery tastes both mild and strong and bitter and sweet. It would be safe to say that celery has a distinct and noticeable flavor that’s mainly plant-like.

This article will hopefully change your mind about the flavor profile of this unique kitchen staple with superfood properties!

What Does Celery Taste Like?

Taste-wise, celery has savory, “green”, and earthy flavor notes, like spinach, kale, or green onions. It’s soft and watery, yet crunchy and even salty.

Interestingly, it has quite a distinct flavor that ranges from mild to bold. Some people find the leaves unpleasant and bland, while the stalk can be juicy and savory. But, in some cases, you may discover celery leaves tasting slightly spicy with hints of bitterness.

As a versatile ingredient, you can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even as a handy everyday snack! However, if you can’t stand the taste of raw celery, here are some easy ways to incorporate this healthy vegetable into your diet: 

Celery Root 

Celery root or celiac bears a close resemblance to celery but with a starchy fusion similar to potato, turnip, or parsnip! The vegetable boasts unique earthy and nutty flavor notes that sweeten with cooking.

Under the tough skin is a crisp and firm root vegetable that tastes a lot like celery that’s been blended with parsley. You can have it raw in salads or cook it in place of potatoes to enjoy the fresh undertones of celery that taste pretty much like the other root vegetables!

Celery Juice

If you’re looking for an easy way to benefit from the goodness of celery without having to eat the veggie, then you’re in luck! Celery juice is a convenient way to make this vegetable flavorful. You can blend celery with water, apple, and lemon for an enjoyable experience. The flavor of celery juice varies from grassy to slightly tart yet sweet, pretty much like liquid celery!

Celery Seed

Most people use celery seeds in salads, sauces, dressings, marinades, brines, and dry rubs. Taste-wise, celery seed tastes just as aromatic as raw celery stalks. The savory, earthy notes and the slight bitterness go well in spice blends! Although you can use whole celery seeds, some people like the increased bitterness that comes with the ground form. 

Celery Salt

Celery salt is a spice blend made with two parts salt and one part celery seeds. While it is similar to regular salt, it enhances the overall aroma by adding a prominent celery flavor. Seasoning snacks with celery salt can add a mild kick of spice and a “green” and bitter-sweet flavor. Some even describe celery salt as tasting grassy or herby!

Cooked Celery

Cooked celery is prized for its mildly sweet flavor. Although cooking causes celery to lose its crunch, it retains its juiciness, much like raw celery. You may use the vegetable to create an aromatic base for soups, broths, stews, braises, and roasts. If you don’t enjoy celery’s bland or bitter taste, cooking it is a great way to enhance its flavors.    

Does Celery Have Any Flavor?

Yes, celery does have flavors, and it depends on which part of celery you are having. The taste of celery leaves varies from bitter to earthy-green, leafy, and even bland. Some people also describe it as slightly spicy. On the other hand, the stalks have a mild, salty-sweet flavor with a herbal aroma.

An interesting fact about this vegetable is that the leaves have a more robust flavor than the stalk. So, if you’re looking for a greener flavor, use the leaves. But, if you want your meal to taste juicier, opt for the watery stalks.

Here’s a tip; if you want the juicier and milder produce, then make sure to pick celery with the lighter stalk color, as these have a soft but juicy flavor. 

Is Celery Sweet Or Bitter?

Whether celery tastes sweet or bitter depends on the person tasting it and the cooking method used. Baked or boiled celery usually tastes on the sweeter side. On the contrary, fresh celery leaves have a strong and bitter flavor that stings the tongue and nose.

But, if you want to keep your greens tasting good without changing the texture, you must blanch them before adding them to stews, soups, or salads. It is a crucial step as it keeps the celery from quickly turning bitter.

In a nutshell, a good bunch of celery tastes crisp and mild. However, you may find a slightly peppery or bitter bite, characteristic of an overly mature plant. In that case, you can salvage the bunch by blanching and cooking it. 

What Flavor Does Celery Add?

Celery adds a variety of flavors to the dish, depending on how it’s cooked. These include earthy, salty-sweet, bitter, and spicy flavor notes.

When raw, you can use diced celery in dips and salads for a crisp and aromatic flavor. On the other hand, cooked celery tastes salty and mildly sweet. You can use cooked celery on any side dish or snack platter.

When used in soups and stews, celery adds a blend of aromas that range from citrusy to grassy with a hint of pleasant bitterness.

The plant or herb-like flavor usually tastes best in savory sauces and in mirepoix or broths that feature celery and onions, and carrots.

How Do You Mask The Taste Of Celery?

Several people dislike the taste of celery; however, given its nutritional properties, it would be a sin to leave it out of your diet. But the good thing is you can easily mask its flavor by combining it with other ingredients.

Celery is a fantastic party snack that goes well with hummus, cream cheese, savory dips, and even peanut butter or Nutella.  

Another popular option is adding it to soups, stews, sauces, and salads. To create a delicious and healthy side dish, you can also roast celery stalks or roots with other vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, or sweet potatoes. You can add your favorite herbs and spices like garlic, mint, tarragon, parsley, and dill to tone down the bitterness of celery and add a bang of flavor!

How To Make Celery Taste Better?

Celery tastes mild yet strong at the same time. Like raw green onions, celery can taste unpleasant to some people. However, there are several ways to enhance its flavor.

Try stuffing celery stalks with peanut butter and top the boats with dried fruits like raisins or cranberries for a sweet and filling snack. You can also use homemade tuna, crab, or chicken filling to make a savory version of this delicious treat.

One way to make celery enjoyable is to have it with dip or dressing. Another way is to cook it; for example, sauté celery in butter and garnish with fresh dill, lemon juice, or a vinaigrette for a fantastic side dish with meat. Of course, if nothing, you can always add celery with your favorite salad greens to get your daily dose of vitamins A, C, and K!

Is There A Spice That Tastes Like Celery?

Celery is well-known for its strong and spicy taste. Celery salt is a common pantry spice that contains celery seeds and adds a unique flavor to any dish you add. Additionally, lovage from the Umbelliferae family tastes much like celery but stronger.

Fennel and star anise are two additional spices you can use in place of celery when making soups and stews. The raw, licorice-like flavor gives a delicious mellow flavor that’s even more enjoyable than celery!

Lastly, celery seeds are a close-enough substitute to celery stalks, as they contain the same flavor. These taste relatively stronger than the celery root but have mellow earthy tones with slightly bitter but pleasant flavor notes. 

What Does Celery Taste When It Goes Bad?

Spoiled celery is usually easy to spot because its stalks turn soft, slimy, and limp. Moreover, it loses its color and becomes pale and hollow from the center. So, if you’ve noticed your celery turning mushy or tasting strong and overly bitter, then it has probably gone bad.

Sometimes, you won’t know for sure until you taste the vegetable. For example, good celery should be watery, crunchy, and salty with a tad bit of bitter flavor. However, celery that has been in contact with chemicals may look green and crunchy. Still, when you taste it, you’ll notice that it’s terrible.

In short, any off-putting aroma or pungent taste is a sign that your celery is not fresh. 


By now, you have a good idea of what to expect in terms of taste when eating celery.

Overall, celery has a crunchy texture with mild flavor notes; most people find it to taste like a mix of sweet and bitter. Although it has many health benefits, many people leave out this little guy from their salads. But the good thing is that you can easily mask its flavor by stuffing it with your favorite spreads. You can enjoy it as finger food with dips, soups, and stews, and even as celery juice!

Celery is a versatile kitchen ingredient, and you can enjoy it raw or cooked! This refreshing, mild-tasting green herb adds a distinct flavor to any dish.

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