Earthy, pungent and slightly astringent, the swede, is also known as a yellow turnip or in some places like the U.S. as a rutabaga, or so I’m led to believe.

RoastedDateSageRutabagaThe Swede is a large yellow turnip, easily distinguishable from the smaller white turnip, which is never confused with anything other than itself, while the large yellow swede/turnip/rutabaga can challenge even the most pleasant of foodie traditionalists to a dual of identification. It quite boggles the mind. For the purposes of this short flavor description, I will stick with the Swede and hope for the best (although, quite honestly rutabaga is much more fun to say...try it)

The Swede is a key ingredient in the traditional Cornish Pasty and you can find out more about that over the next day or two when we blog about our Pasty adventures in Cornwall. In the meantime, suffices to say, it is a starchy member of the brassica family. It is delicious roasted, sautéed, stewed, and even pureed.

From a health perspective, Swedes are high in Vitamin C and B6 as well as many minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.  Swedes are a great resource for manganese, potassium, and iron.

Research demonstrates that the swede is helpful in reducing the potential for colon and prostate cancers and inhibits tumor growth and proliferation. The swede helps balance the digestive system and certain chemical compounds inhibit bad bacterial growth, studies show it inhibits the growth of h.pylori bacteria and helps heal stomach ulcers. The swede is also a high fiber, lower starch food that helps balance blood sugar and manage insulin release and uptake.  Make friends with a Swede and invite it to lunch. You won’t be sorry. (: