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Turnip or Rutabaga?

Posted on by Patricia Bishop

Both are part of the brassica family, including brussel sprouts, broccoli & cabbage to mention just a few. More often than not, when people use the word "turnip" it's really a rutabaga. We all know what we're talking about, but what's the actual difference between the two? 

Turnip are white fleshed with purple & white skin and are usually far smaller as they start to get woody if left to get too big. They have a sharper taste, are harvested in the summer, and are considered seasonal, rather than a winter storage crop.

Rutabaga (or wax/yellow turnip) like the one pictured above, is far more common, has yellow flesh, and a yellow/purple skin. It's harvested in the fall, an excellent winter storage crop, and is sweeter than turnip. They're also equally delicious if large or small. They are thought to be a hybrid of cabbage & turnip, but if they weren't related to turnip at all, I think you'd still be pretty safe asking for a turnip at your local market.

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