Week 5 Parsnips

Ok, parsnips. Based on the appearance, the smell and how I’ve seen them used in recipes online, these are just weird carrots. I don’t really know how to describe the smell of carrots, maybe they could be described as a sweet green smell but they smell nice. These parsnips have that smell amplified and it made me want to take a bite out of them.

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Unfortunately, time was an issue and I went to two different stores to find they only sell parsnips in the bag. This means they are coated in a shellac/waxy something or the other. The general opinion on peeling parsnips is split where some just say to scrub them really well, some say it differs parsnip to parsnip and others say to always peel them. Since these have been coated in wax I’m going to be peeling these, but hopefully won’t take off too much skin.

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They’re kind of funny looking like a carrot with a big head and I don’t believe the size of the bulb at the top really signifies anything in terms of better flavors or freshness. The size of the parsnip itself though is important because the bigger they get the woodier a texture they have, which I guess makes sense. They say to look for the whiter ones since those will be the sweetest and that they are firm and not rotting essentially. Considering the time I had looking for these you may not have a choice to be as picky with them. I may venture back out to where I know I’ll find quality produce not sold in bags.

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I haven’t been able to find a picture of a bad parsnip so I’m not 100% sure if the ones I bought are good, but again, it’s hard to find these things out through a bag. I think it seems as long as they’re not monsters, fairly white and aren’t too flexible you’ll be fine.

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I think the big one in the middle that has already been sliced above may not exactly be prime parsnip since it has a darker brown core there, but I’m going to try anyways with it. I think the mango lemonade day has made me leery of the produce I pick. It’s hard to judge something when it’s not in its best state, I think we can all agree we hope people form an opinion of us on our best days. So I hope I’ve caught these parsnips at least on a fair day and that their flavors come out when cooking them this week.

I’ve tried a sliver of turnip when I was younger and I wasn’t really impressed. It tasted like dirt with pepper poured in it so I went ahead and assumed all root vegetables will taste like peppered dirt. I’d pass by the parsnips in the grocery store and frown internally at how bad they must taste. I hope this week can change my mind and maybe some more.

Author: Olivia O.

East Tennessee native with an interest in food and trying new things.

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