What Are the Different Turnip Varieties?

Turnips are always confused with rutabagas and Swedes because they are similar in appearance. The fact that there are so many different varieties of turnips also contributes to this confusion.

Turnips are a hardy, biennial tuber that has been cultivated by humans as far back as the time of Christ. This crop has been grown both for human and farm animal consumption.

Two of the most popular turnip varieties back in the ancient times were the broad bottom flat turnips and the globular cultivar. As time went on, the popularity of this root crop spread throughout the world-in Europe, the Mediterranean, across Asia and to the Pacific.

As it starts to spread and be cultivated just about anywhere, different turnip varieties started to emerge. To make things easier, turnips were classified according to their shape which range from long and tankard, to flat, to round or globe.

It is not just shape which is the basis of classifying a turnip. Sometimes, it is also based according to the color of the top part of the root-which is purple or red, and the color of the turnip’s flesh-which could be white or yellow.

There are so many varieties of turnips in existence today the most popular of which is the European variety.

This cultivar can be distinguished by its round or globular shape. It has a shade of purple at the top of the root. Some European turnips have golden yellow flesh but a few other varieties are flesh or white colored. Some turnips even have red skin.

Many people have claimed that today, Teltow and May turnips varieties are the best. They have a taste that fits in salads whether blanched or raw. Both are also great whether cooked alone or mixed with other vegetables.

Take note though, that not all turnips types can be eaten raw. For instance, the Fall turnip has a very strong taste that must be tamed by cooking.

Other cultivars of turnip include Purple Top Milan, Manchester Market, Tokyo Turnip, Golden Ball, Snow Ball and the Green Globe.