How to Choose a Turnip at the Supermarket

choosing-turnips

To dislike turnips because they’re the staple food of the poor is silly, not to mention snooty.  And if they taste “turnipy” or bitter, it’s because they weren’t cooked right.

Turnips can be delicious if you know how to cook it properly.  But before even beginning to think how you would be able to achieve this, you must first know how to wisely choose the right turnip that would go into your dish.

  1. Know how to recognize a turnip when you see one.  Some confuses a turnip with a rutabaga.  Although similarly like turnips in appearance, rutabagas are very large with a waxy outer layer.   When cooked, its taste is stronger, too.Turnips are globe-shaped, its skin white with just a tinge of purple on the upper part.  Baby turnips don’t have this violet hue yet and may look somewhat like a spring radish.
  2. Look for small to average-sized turnips.  Yes, it should be the bigger, the better.  But not in this case.  Larger turnips are woody and hard, its texture coarse with a bitter taste.Small, young turnips are sweeter with a tender flavor that they can even be eaten raw.  Choose one that has a width of about three inches or less.   Although this tuber is available all throughout the year, the best turnips can be found in the fall or at springtime when they are still small and sweet.
  3. Although you’re looking for small turnips, its weight should be heavier for its size.
  4. Avoid soft, shriveled turnips.  This means it has been stored for too long and is in the process of rotting.  Look for turnips that are firm with smooth skin and with no cuts or blemishes.
  5. If you enjoy eating turnip greens, make sure it is crisp with a bright green color.  Young turnips greens are great in salads.  It can be eaten raw.  Older turnip greens have to be cooked much the same way spinach is cooked.If you don’t choose your turnip greens carefully, it will taste unappetizing when you cook them.  Some turnips come with the green still attached to it.  Some grocers sell the greens separately.
  6. If you bought turnips with the greens still attached and you want to use the greens at a later time, cut it off before storing it.  If not, the leaves will draw moisture from the root, hastening the decay process.

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