Root Vegetables

Oct 1, 2007

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons\Jeremy Keith

Oh yeah, the October Nusletter came out  last week (as I’m sure you heard through all the major press outlets) and the topic is: Root Vegetables.  Do you have any good root veg stories to share?

I had a Parsnip Epiphany a few years ago, eating a holiday dinner and my friend Bill’s house – he roasts parsnips in the turkey drippings.  Mmmmmm.  Good stuff for those inclined to eat things like turkey.

Loyal Reader T.F. wrote to tell me about her “African stew” that she makes with various root veggies.

British and Americans have different names for various root vegetables, which I find endlessly fascinating.  Some are simple and self-explanatory; for example, Americans say Beets while Brits say Beetroot.  It is a root (or at least a tuber; or at least it came from underground), so that makes sense.  Americans do differentiate between “beets” and “beet greens” so I think adding the additional distinction of “beet root” is quite helpful.

Celery root in America is Celeriac in Britain.  That’s not too much drama.

My favorite is this:  the American Rutabaga is the British Swede.  Rutabaga is a bizarre name in  the first place; and I am doubly intrigued by Swede.  Do these root vegetables come from Sweden?  Or is a Swede just as Swedish as French Toast or French Fries are French?

These and other mysteries to be explored in the future.

Coming up November 5 is a Root Vegetables Cooking Class — interact with live, in-person beets, rutabagas, parsnips, perhaps some exotic celery root.  Cook some food, eat some food, enjoy good company and bring home leftovers.  Add some crowd-pleasing recipes to your holiday repertoire: root veg dishes are handy for potlucks.  Alas, Loyal Reader E.B., cooking classes are not yet available via teleconference.

Rock on with your autumnal self.