Thanks to Dole Sunshine for partnering with me on this cucumber celery olive odyssey salad recipe! I am the creator of this recipe and for the description and information that follows. For a full disclosure, click here!
I know what you’re probably thinking now. Why does Ally call this recipe cucumber celery olive odyssey salad? I suppose the reason is that I stumbled upon some intriguing information when researching celery. Now, food to me is a way to relate to history, and, in this case, literature.
Celery Origins for Celery Salad
There is a ‘somewhat’ history to this celery salad! Do you remember Homer’s Odyssey. Yep, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer way back when. Scholars believe it was composed sometime in 8 B.C. Odysseus, the Greek hero, had a long journey back home. And, it was quite a feat to even begin the journey because he was captured and held captive by the seductive and beautiful nymph Calypso, who was addicted to love for him. She had him imprisoned on her island, Ogvgia.
Now back to this calypso’s cave celery cuke olive salad. Just stick with me. It’s going to make sense why I named it this. So, Odysseus gets the help of Zeus who sends Hermes to rescue him from Calypso. Homer describes what Hermes sees when he arrives at Calypso:
“He (Hermes) found her (Calypso) at home. There was a large fire burning on the hearth. One could smell from afar the fragrant odor of burning cedar and sandal wood. As for herself, Calypso was busy at her loom, shooting her golden shuttle through the warp and singing beautifully. Round her cave was a thick wood of alder, poplar, and sweet smelling cypress trees. Therein were all kinds of great birds which had built their nests – owls, hawks, and chattering sea gulls whose business is in the waters. A vine loaded with grapes was trained and grew luxuriantly about the mouth of the cave. There were also four running rills of water in channels cut pretty close together. They were turned hither and thither to irrigate the beds of violets and luscious herbage, including wild celery over which they flowed. Even a god could not help being charmed with such a lovely spot. So, Hermes stood motionless and looked at it. When he had admired it sufficiently, he went inside the cave.”
Well, Hermes finally persuades Calypso to let Odysses build a ship and leave. But, his troubles and arduous adventures weren’t over. Actually, it took him ten years to return to Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. And, there’s a happy ending.
As you see, the very first mention of ‘celery’ is believed to be by Homer in 8 B.C. Pretty cool, I think. And, this celery salad is kind of like Odysseus’s journey. It’s full of unexpected tastes, flavors, textures, and in the end there is a happy ending for your palate!
PS: There’s one ingredient that’s ‘optional’…you decide to put it in or leave it out! xoxo ~ally