The New York Post credits Kalamazoo for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner staple.

Celery has been a part of Thanksgiving meals all across the country since the mid-1870's. In a recent article published in The New York Times entitled "The Real Heart of Thanksgiving", celery was awarded the title of "The Holiday's Unsung Hero". As one can guess, the story is about how important celery is to the seasons' feast.

In the article, the author mentioned our incredible Southwest Michigan town, Kalamazoo...

Dutch immigrants, who are widely credited with helping to develop the celery business in the United States, started growing the vegetable as early as 1874 near Kalamazoo, Mich., which was subsequently nicknamed Celery City. Train boys and messengers sold celery to passengers on the railroad; the seeds were disseminated across the United States, and a celery craze ensued.

The article went on to cite how important celery is to our Holiday tables. The example they showed was Good Housekeeping’s Thanksgiving menus from 1900 and how it  celebrated celery in every form:

  • There was celery soup
  • The stalks blended with mashed potatoes
  • Celery was accompanied by peanut butter on brown bread
  • Tossed with bread crumbs to stuff the turkey
  • Celery fortified the holiday centerpiece
  • Its cooking liquid was used to baste the poultry
  • Prized for its crunch, celery was tossed with apples and mayonnaise

Maybe we should all give thanks for the train boys and messengers, who not only put our city on the map, but for making every Thanksgiving meal delicious!