Question: If you aren’t supposed to keep celery in the plastic bag it came in, where are you supposed to keep it?
“Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.”
Oh wait, no: That’s where not to eat Green Eggs and Ham—sorry. You can definitely keep your celery in your house. Keep celery heads whole, wrap them up tightly in aluminum foil, and then keep them in the refrigerator crisper drawer as usual.
The plastic bag your celery came in traps in the ethylene it produces, which hastens its vegetal demise. From the kitchn we learned that Cook’s Illustrated found that aluminum foil was the best storage solution; it allows the gas to escape, so your celery will stay fresh longer.
Aluminum foil isn’t the most eco-friendly way to store produce, but it might be worth it in the name of preventing food waste. Plus, the aluminum foil could be reused multiple times to store a few rounds of celery if you’re carefully wrapping and unwrapping it. Then, once it starts to shred too much for wrapping celery, you can either recycle it or put it to use elsewhere, like cleaning your grill for winter storage.
If you’re the type of person that likes to cut celery stalks up ahead of time for easy snacking access, you might be tempted to store them in water. Resist the urge to carry on your grandmother's tradition (only this one, the rest are fair game). Cook's Illustrated says that you can "prep celery (and carrot) sticks up to two days ahead; there’s no need to store them in water. After that, they’ll begin to very slowly deteriorate, whether stored dry or wet.”
What storage solutions do you have that would make your grandmother cringe (but work!)? Tell us in the comments below!
Photos by James Ransom