+
General Discussion

turnip v. rutabaga - what do you call it?

danieljdwyer | Nov 16, 200907:19 AM     108

I know that the word rutabaga is the correct term for what I have always called a turnip - a fairly large root vegetable with yellow flesh, a dark purple and tan exterior, which is usually sold waxed in the mid to late fall and is a traditional staple of the New England root cellar.
I know that a turnip is smaller, has white flesh, usually has a light purple and white exterior, which is harvested in the spring and summer and eaten fresh.
Now, my problem is, I have never actually heard anyone call a rutabaga a rutabaga. I've also only very rarely ever encountered actual turnips. So, I'm very curious about the regionality of these two terms. Where do people use turnip for turnips and rutabaga for rutabagas?
I'm fairly confident that, in New England, turnip nearly always means rutabaga. I have never seen either vegetable elsewhere in the US. In other English speaking countries, I've heard turnip used to mean rutabaga (Ireland) or swede used to mean rutabaga (England), but haven't seen real turnips or heard them called anything. In non-English speaking countries, I have only ever heard completely unrelated words used for these two vegetables - though in Spain, nabo is supposed to mean turnip but is actually used for rutabaga.
So, I'd like to know three things:
1. Where are you from?
2. Are turnips and rutabagas commonly eaten there?
3. What do they call these two vegetables?

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

Anthony Bourdain's Chef's Knife, Records & Other Belongings to Be Auctioned
Food Trends

Anthony Bourdain's Chef's Knife, Records & Other Belongings to Be Auctioned

by David Watsky | Nearly 200 items personally accrued by the late Anthony Bourdain will go to auction next month including...

The Trader Joe's Lunchbox Staple This Cookbook Author & Mom Keeps on Hand
Food Trends

The Trader Joe's Lunchbox Staple This Cookbook Author & Mom Keeps on Hand

by David Watsky | School lunches for young ones can start to feel like mission impossible after a while. On the one...

Get Cozy with These 15 Creamy Mushroom Recipes (No Can Opener Required)
Recipe Round-Ups

Get Cozy with These 15 Creamy Mushroom Recipes (No Can Opener Required)

by Chowhound Editors | Cream and mushrooms are a magical combo, and these creamy mushroom recipes celebrate it in all its...

A Guide to Sage, Our Favorite Fall Herb
Guides

A Guide to Sage, Our Favorite Fall Herb

by Jen Wheeler | Here's everything you need to know about sage, our favorite fall herb. When it comes to the savory...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.