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Did you know that people originally only grew turnips to feed livestock? Eventually, we realized that they make a hearty substitute to meats and potatoes during harsh winters.

Appearance & Flavor

The most common and plentiful turnip variety is purple on top and white on the bottom. The flesh is stark white, crunchy, and juicy with a sweet peppery taste. They are comparable to radishes. The whole turnip is edible; from the roots up to the leaves. However, you are more likely to see turnips without roots or stems in the grocery store, and the leaves are usually sold separately as turnip greens. When picking them out, ensure that they are smooth.

Ways to Enjoy

Want a great meal starter? Try making this addicting appetizer. Otherwise, you can braise, roast, sauté, and puree and add them to soups or salads. If you want to put a new spin on an old dish, they make a great substitute in any recipe that calls for carrots.

Availability & Origin

China is the largest turnip producer in the world, growing 16 times more than the entire US does. In the US, 94 percent grow in California, Colorado, Texas, Washington, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin. California tops the charts in the US producing 63 percent of them. Turnips are available year-round.


Your turnips will last you about 10 days if they are whole, unwashed, in a plastic bag, and in the fridge. After cutting them, you can wrap the sections tightly in plastic and they’ll last up to three days in the fridge. If you have a root cellar, they will last many, many months there. Don’t have a root cellar but want to keep your turnips longer? You can freeze them for almost a year.