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Minister Sargent Says "Parsnips Now In Season With Optimum Flavour Following Frost Which Makes Them Sweeter"

Mr. Trevor Sargent T.D., Minister for Food and Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is pictured here discussing the harvesting of parsnips with a farmer Mr. Dessie Farrell, agronomist Mr. Johnny Hogan and chairperson of Dublin Meath growers, Mr. Denis Harford in Stamullen, Co. Meath last Friday.

Like many of our well-known vegetables, the parsnip was brought to North Europe by Ancient Romans who occupied Britain for 400 years. The Romans called it the 'pastinaca' from the Latin 'pastinare' meaning 'to dig up the ground'. The Britons combined the words 'pastinaca' and 'turnip' to get parsnip. In Ireland the parsnip was known as 'meacan bán' meaning 'white tuber'.

"Whatever one calls the parsnip, it is at its best now as frost has the effect of bringing out its characteristic sweet flavour. There are a few more weeks left in the parsnip season so now is the time to buy Irish parsnips in the shops or at your local Farmers Markets" said Minister Trevor Sargent.

Date Released: 08 April 2008