Parsnip History and FactsThe parsnip, botanically-known as Pastinaca sativum, is a starchy root vegetable resembling an overgrown ivory-skinned carrot. Parsnips grew wild in Europe and were considered a luxury item for the aristocracy in ancient Rome. Due to their natural sweet and nutty flavor, parsnips were usually served sweetened with honey or in fruited cakes and desserts.
The Europeans brought parsnips to the United States in the 16th century, but to this day, they are not as popular with Americans as their carrot cousins. Although starchy like a potato, the parsnip is considered nutritionally superior.
If you grow your own, this root vegetable is best harvested after the first frost since the cold converts the starch to sugar, sweetening the parsnip and mellowing the flavor.
More About Parsnips and Parsnip Recipes:• Parsnip Selection and Storage
• Parsnip Cooking Tips and Measures
• Parsnip History
• Parsnip Recipes
Parsnips Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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