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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

What the Heck Is a Rutabaga?

What the Heck Is a Rutabaga?

A rutabaga, also know as the yellow turnip or swede (short for “Swedish turnip”), is a large root vegetable with edible leaves. It was originally cultivated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Its unusual name comes from the Swedish word “rotabagge,” which literally mean “root ram” (just don’t ask us what “root ram means!).

Rutabaga remains a popular staple food in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, where the long winters are ideal for growing root vegetables, and not much else. It is most often eaten mashed — sometimes with potatoes and carrots — or baked into casseroles. It is also a popular component in Scandinavian soups.

Why not expand your horizons and try some today?

Rutabaga Puff Casserole
Ingredients:
1 large rutabaga, cooked and mashed
4 tbls butter, melted
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp salt
dash pepper
dash paprika
4 eggs, separated

Directions:
Combine mashed rutabaga, egg yolks, butter, dill, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into the rutabaga mixture. Place mixture in a greased 1-1/2-quart casserole dish. Bake at 375° oven until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.