What do parsnips taste like?

Parsnip is a biennial herb (Pastinaca sativa) of the carrot family (umbelliferae/Apiaceae) with large pinnate leaves and yellow flowers, that is cultivated for its  cream-coloured fleshy and tapered root, which is cooked as a vegetable.

The tapered root is pale yellow, cream or ivory-coloured and can grow up to 3m in length if left in the ground for too long. It’s usually harvested after the first year, because the taproots become tough and inedible, if left in the ground for too long

What is the flavour of parsnip?

Parsnip has a mild celery like fragrance and a sweet nutty flavour. They have a sweeter taste than carrot, when cooked. Their flavour is best in winter when they are most abundant and sweet. The flavour improves when the root is left the frost.

Parsnip myfavouritepastime.com

Parsnip makes really sweet and tasty soup.

Spiced Parsnip Soup myfavouritepastime.com

Foodland Ontario: seasonal availability Guide.


Parsnip myfavouritepastime.com

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

5 thoughts

  1. I documented in my blog the slow rise of Parsnip availability in the Netherlands here: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/new-227/

    They are AMAZING roasted, their caramel sweetness comes to the fore, just peel and cut into fairly equal sized chunks. nothing at all needs to be added, not even salt.

    Also a kid favourite: boil equal qualities of parsnip and carrot together, then mash together with butter… yum!

    You can also cut them into thick sticks and roast them (sweet potatoes are amazing like this too), just place them onto a silicon non-stick mat and cook until soft, or go a bit extra and wait until they are crunchier and chewy… the caramelisation of the natural sugar makes both parsnip and sweet potatoes a MASSIVE hit done this way. Make far more then you think you need because all of these roasted veggies shrink a LOT during cooking.

    next easy recipe: boil equal parts (or slightly more potato if preferred) of parsnip and potatoes, mash together… oh Yes! Mashed potatoes by themselves will never seem the same again!

    If you cut them into thick shavings then they can go into stir-fry dishes just like you would with carrots.

    NOTE: Parsnips are hard to prepare in advance, once peeled they go brown quickly and gain a kind of furry feel to the outside. They are probably perfectly edible like this but they don’t look appealing at all.
    If you think you can put them in water with potatoes and carrots think again, they will float to the top and you will have a devil of a job to keep them covered with water.
    I prep all my other veggies and just leave these until the last minute, they are very easy to peel so that’s never a problem.

    This is a really underrated veggie in the Netherlands, so many people shy away from it because they don’t know what it is or how to cook it. Here in the Hague we are now seeing it in major supermarkets during the winter, a far cry from when I first arrived in the Netherlands and parsnips were not only hard to find but tiny scraggly veggies and stupidly expensive.

    Now you find decent sized parsnips at a (more) affordable price.
    The more people who buy parsnip, the lower the price will become so I implore people in the Netherlands to give this humble little vegetable a go and discover just how wonderful it is! Best of all it’s also a veggie that often even fussy kids will eat.. bonus!

    1. Hey gal where have you been? Great to see you after so many years of silence.

      People in Canada do not buy parsnips at all. My local store has the so called scraggly and limp-looking parsnips, shuttled off in a corner, in a tiny plastic tray. You have to really look, to see them.And the PRICE? it makes you go OUCH!!! SO EXPENSIVE

      I love your passion for parsnip. I will buy some today when I go shopping. Also thanks so much for all that extra information.
      Best Wishes!

    1. Ha ha you should try them. They are actually sweeter than carrots and more creamy too. My local supermarket sells a handful in an isolated corner. They are never fresh. Enjoy the week!

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