Root Vegetables

Brief history

Wild parsnips grew throughout Europe in Roman times. The Romans believed that parsnips had medicinal as well as nutritional properties. It was believed that eating parsnips could treat stomach and tooth aches.Carrots were first recorded in the 10th century in Asia. They were originally purple or white with a thin root and had a bitter taste. Orange carrots were probably first cultivated in the Netherlands in the 16th century.

Skirrets were popular in medieval times but their thin roots make them fiddly to prepare and they fell out of favour after the introduction of the potato in the 16th century. The name skirret derives from the Middle English word skirwhit which means white root. In Scotland it is known as crummock. Skirret is native to China and was brought to England by the Romans. The Emperor Tiberius was such a fan that he had skirret brought to him from Germany (where it grew along the banks of the river Rhine) every year.