Cold, Cold, Celeriac And More Cold
In these days of December, we all start to look like Santa Claus with many layers, lofty hats, rosy cheeks and Rudolph— red noses. The last two days have been too frosty and cold to harvest, so we are busy in the packing shed catching up on the many bins harvested in the last week of celeriac, sunchokes, cabbage, leeks and fennel. The incredible smell of celeriac seems to take the lead with such a beautiful bouquet of cinnamon, pine and earthy tones. It is as if candles are burning a celeriac fragrance that is almost impossible to convert to food. We have always loved how the nuance of smell is not easily transferable to taste and in the vegetable world, this couldn’t be more accurate.
When vegetables are growing in the field, they carry with them smells from their leaves, the soil in the field, air temperature, rain, sun and wind, all infused to create a special olfactory experience. This experience is often difficult to recreate in a dish even when the vegetable remains raw in form and uncooked. Celeriac is at the top of this list as its fragrance is much stronger than its flavor, and its texture is always a mystery between not juicy and not dry. One must work hard to uncover celeriac from the ground, peeling layers of hairy roots, tough skin and inedible greens. This tuber is a brute of a vegetable, but so worth it. The process of unearthing it and releasing these aromas along the way make the end-product so gratifying you whether it is a dreamy puree or thin, raw slivers in a salad. As we try and keep warm in our vegetable workshop of the Pacific Northwest processing celeriac, we hope you give it a try, and make sure to take in its fantastic smell while peeling it.
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