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Florida Mountain Turnips! December 21, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Among the local wonders of this season are the World *ahem* Famous Florida Mountain Turnips.

Now, if you’re a “Turnip Person,” you’ll really appreciate this.  If you’re not  a Turnip Person, this might be a good time to go clean the refrigerator.

So.  Florida Mountain Turnips are grown up the hill from here in Florida, MA.  They’re more properly (and widely) known as Laurentian Purple Topped Rutabagas, on accounta they were brought here from the Laurentian mountains in North Central Quebec, they have purple tops, and, um, they’re rutabagas (Brassica napus, a cross-breeding between true turnips and cabbages. )  They’re a soft, pale yellow on the inside and as sweet as root crops of the cabbage family get, due to the early and frequent frosts up there.  I could plant them here, within ten miles of their Florida home, and they just wouldn’t come out the same.


Lucky for me, several Florida growers sell them.  I stumbled upon this sign along Route 2:

…and followed it to the home of one Mike Gancarz, who sells said “fresh” turnips.

“How Fresh,” you might ask?  Well, here’s Mike:

Here’s The Snatch:

…and voila!   Fresh Florida Mountain Turnips!

“You can’t get them any fresher than this,” he proudly proclaimed.

“I could if I wanted to get down on my hands and knees and eat ’em out of the dirt,” I replied.

We both laughed, then I paid the man $18 for 20 pounds.

Not bad for the Real Deal.

Come Christmas I’ll be bragging about how good they were.

OK, you picky flatlanders can shut the fridge and sit back down.  I’ll find something for you-all presently.





1. jomegat - December 21, 2011

I have never wanted to eat a turnip more in my entire life than I want to right now.

2. Paul in ABQ - December 22, 2011

Time for “chateaux en Suede” (mashed rutabagas). They look awesome. Enjoy!

3. littlebangtheory - December 22, 2011

j, if you happen to be in the area (yeah, as if! ) I’ll whip you up some!

Paul, that’s a new one on me, but entirely appropriate for a Canadian Root Crop. 🙂 And mashed is my favorite – they’re one of the few things I put tons of butter in (I usually choose life.) I’ll eat an extra helping just for you!

4. Paul in ABQ - December 23, 2011

“Swede” is a nickname for rutabaga. I guess some of my ancestors ate a lot of them in tough times. Thus the “castles in Sweden” nickname. Butter being my favorite food, you will do me proud.

5. littlebangtheory - December 23, 2011

Yes, “swede” is apparently common where British is the standard. Wiki says they’re called “neeps” in Scotland, “snaggers” in Northeast England… seems like everybody wants to claim the lowly rutabaga as their own. Can you blame them? 😉

6. susan - December 29, 2011

I love turnips and these are indeed very beautiful specimens.

7. littlebangtheory - December 29, 2011

Yes susan, I’d love to try growing some, but the available seeds all tout “nice round” roots, and that’s not what I’m seeing here, so I don’t know if they’re really the same…

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