Tuesday 31 January 2017


Parsnip (who should know a thing or two about root vegetables) has introduced me to a new word for swedes. Rutabaga. It sounds exotic. I had to go to google to read all about it. What a confusion! When is a swede not a swede? When it's a turnip, or a rutabaga. While the vegetables stay the same, and taste quite different from each other, their names are interchangeable depending on which part of Britain you're in. And that's without factoring in names given in other countries.
It reminds me of the childhood joke,
how do you tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel?
Answer, A weasel is weasyily recognised, but a stoat is stoatally different.
When my swede and turnip seedlings first sprouted in the autumn I had no idea which was which. Birds had pulled out the small white labels that identified each row and I ended up planting out the thinnings as guesswork. No matter, both crops did well. How pretty the turnips look, and, satisfyingly, just the same as on the packet!


  1. I bet they are very healthy too. I have never tasted the bulb but have tasted the greens cooked in a broth. Very good.

    1. I usually mash them together with carrots as I find them rather bitter on their own. They all matured at the same time so I've given a lot away to neighbours. I've never cooked the greens.

  2. Your turnips look beautiful just like the photo, good thing you save the seed pack !
    Goodness.... I have no idea they taste different ? I do like the greens a lot, like Donna said !
    I only know them as rutabagas but I see turnips named more now.
    Don't know if swede is a turnip but different from a rutabaga ?
    Americans, gosh darn it, we are so weird !

    I had a dog named Turnip if that helps any ? If I ever get another dog I might call him Rutabaga !

    cheers, parsnip

    1. It would be quite a mouthful to shout when you call him in to dinner! (Probably get shortened to 'Ruta' - Rooter!)
      There is utter confusion here in Blighty as to what's a turnip and what's a swede even though they taste differently. Turnip very white fleshed and rather bitter, like an overgrown radish and turnip golden and mellow.

    2. Still so very confused... so eat what you plant and I am sure they will taste great.
      Words are so funny !

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  4. never tried turnips, you got me interested in their discussions, do not tell whether you can grow it at home for example in a bucket