Category: Food



Introduction and description


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The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. 

It goes wonderfully well with lamb in hotpots and was a staple part of many unctuous stews at one time.  It can also be roasted with honey and mustard – of which more shortly.

Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock.  Animals eat both the tops and the root.  My uncle used to make a joke about sheep in turnip fields which involved a lot of very rude noises, this joke was very popular when we were small – children of course love naughty noises [turnips like most root vegetables can give you wind – healthy wind!!]


The word turnip is an old compound of tur- as in turned/rounded [as on a lathe] and neep, derived from Latin napus) which refers to the larger, yellow root vegetable, known as the "swede" (from "Swedish turnip").  In essence, a turnip is a round swede [swedes being more oval in shape!

In the north of England and Scotland, the word neeps also describes a vegetable dish served in Scotland with haggis, but it is not mashed turnip, but mashed swede and carrot with a lot of butter added.




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