How to Choose Parsnips

Parsnips have a special place in winter cooking, although they are not as popular today as they were decades ago. Parsnips are available all year round but they gain a sweetness that comes from being frozen in the ground, so the early winter ones are often the tastiest.[1]Choosing good quality ones is fairly easy but there are some pointers to consider, as discussed here.


  1. Image titled Choose Parsnips Step 1
    Look for parsnips that are very white. The whiter the flesh, the sweeter the parsnip.
  2. Image titled Choose Parsnips Step 2
    Choose firm parsnips with intact roots.
  3. Image titled Choose Parsnips Step 3
    Avoid parsnips that are yellowing or going brown around the core. These are likely to be older and therefore less sweet.
  4. Image titled Choose Parsnips Step 4
    Avoid buying parsnips that are shrivelled. Again, these are likely to be older and less sweet. Larger ones are more likely to have a woodier texture.[2]
  5. Image titled Choose Parsnips Step 5
    Prefer smaller parsnips over larger ones. These are generally sweeter and less woody.[3] Also look for parsnips that are heavy for their size; they will be sweeter.[4]
  6. Image titled Choose Parsnips Final


  • Store in the refrigerator for a few days. They are not able to last as long as carrots.

Things You'll Need

  • Quality vegetable supplier

Sources and Citations

  1. Taunton Fine Cooking, Choose Firm, Heavy Parsnips
  2. Otago Daily Times, Parsnips in from the Cold
  3. Veg Box Recipes, Parsnip
Show more... (1)

Article Info

Categories: Food Selection and Storage