November 9, 2008

Parsnip Update

Filed under: food — origamifreak @ 1:55 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The two parsnips on the left and all three of the celeriac, plus 4 onions from the CSA are now chopped up into little pieces and simmering in a pot with a pork loin end (bone in). It’s a lazy version of the flavors in a white mirepoix. Which seems appropriate, given that “pork is the other white meat,” right? 😉

Not sure what I’ll do with that last, Most Fearsome Parsnip, but it’s lurking in the fridge with the celeriac stems, awaiting its fate.

Incidentally, pork loin end is one of my new favorite economical stew-type cuts. It’s cheap and there’s a lot of meat in there, and so what if there’s that awkward bone – I usually cook it until the meat comes off by itself, anyway.

By the way, did you know that celeriac and parsnips are related? I think I did at one point, but I’d forgotten. They’re in the Apiaceae family (I was taught Umbelliferae, but I think that name is less popular, now):

  • Apium graveolens, celery, celeriac
  • Daucus carota, carrot
  • Pastinaca sativa, parsnip
  • Foeniuculum vulgare, fennel
  • Coriandrum sativum, coriander, cilantro
  • Caurm carvi, caraway
  • Anthriscus cerefolium, chervil
  • Pimpinella anisum, aniseed
  • Anethum graveolens, dill
  • Cuminum cyminum, cumin
  • Petroselinum crispum, parsley

I found a paper where they tried to figure out the evolutionary relationships among members of the family using chloroplast genes. Sadly they did not include cumin or parsley:


Still, I did learn some cool things, like fennel, dill, and celery are all closer to each other than they are to anise and chervil, which I might not have expected, given the similarity of flavor between anise, chervil, and fennel.

Also, carrots may be closer to chervil than they are to parsnips, which may be closer to coriander (depending on which gene you believe). So things grown for taproots aren’t necessarily close relatives, either.

Economic botany is so much fun.



  1. Apiaceae. Does that have something to do with bees. I wonder?

    Comment by jpm14 — November 9, 2008 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  2. Well, I think it actually comes from the type genus Apium (celery), but it would be apt, wouldn’t it, given how those plants seem to attract them? 🙂

    In Latin language, the celery was called sedano (which gave rise to celery and its Italian, German and French cognates, see also parsley) or apium, which is found in Catalan and Provençal api and the regional German word Eppich. The ultimate origin of both names is dark.”

    Comment by origamifreak — November 9, 2008 @ 10:04 pm | Reply

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