Celery seed has an aroma and taste that is more pronounced than that of fresh celery stalks. Celery seeds are penetrating, spicy, with hints of nutmeg, citrus and parsley. Celery seed has a strong celery flavor without the crunch or bulk of the vegetable, and gives off a faint hint of spiciness.
Related to the vegetable celery, the little brown celery seed comes from a different kind of celery plant, Apium graveolens. While ancient Ayurvedic medicine used celery seed to treat colds, flu, and arthritis, it didn't make its way onto the spice shelf until the seventeenth century. Modern-day French cuisine often incorporates celery seed, as does Cajun cuisine.
A touch of celery seed brings out the best in beef and pork, 1/2 tsp per pound of meat. Don't let their tiny size fool you - celery seed is surprisingly strong! - use sparingly in pickles, soups, salads and meat dishes. A little celery seed packs a tasty punch in eggplant, egg, fish, pea, or potato recipes, and in stuffings and casseroles. Celery seeds marry perfectly with tomatoes and are often found in soups.