Saturday, April 18, 2020

Phoney Baloney

Well it’s P-day over at the A-to-Z and I haven’t crashed yet. Still in this thing and today my plucky, playful, passionate, pensive, sometimes panicky pal, the Ponderer has pulled this fine proposal from her hat:

Parsnips: the forgotten carrot

So everyone knows what a parsnip is, right? A white carrot-like root vegetable which has lagged in popularity behind its orange cousin. Its sweeter than a carrot when cooked. Who doesn’t like sweet?

Well here are ten fun facts about parsnips you probably didn’t know:

1. The shoots and leaves have serious toxic qualities which harvesters need to be aware of. People have suffered severe burns and blistering from wild parsnip encounters.

2. The original carrot was much more like today’s parsnip than today’s carrot.

3. In the video game Stardew Valley you will earn a 100 gold piece reward the first time you fully cultivate a parsnip.

4. The novel Parsnips in Love by Porochista Khakpour centres around the harvesting of a pair of parsnips which had grown entwined with each other; inseparable without breaking them.

5. Duke Gregory III of Naples once sponsored a footrace challenging any nine runners who would put up a 50 gold coin wager against his “magical sprinting parsnip.” Nearly everyone assumed some trick was afoot. Only three runners took up the challenge and the race proceeded. Gregory paid out the 150 coins. The parsnip never left the starting line.

6. The longest parsnip on record is 7.49 metres long! And was grown by the same retired Englishman, Joe Atherton who also holds the records for longest beetroot and longest carrot.

7. It is decidedly difficult finding ten interesting things to say about bloody parsnips. Thanks Ponderer!

8. Kenneth Kholer of then-West Germany became famous as the Trojan Parsnip Man when he found a parsnip half-jammed in his mailbox. He left it on his kitchen counter planning to query neighbours about the gift but the next morning the vegetable was nowhere to be found, while a dozen small white mice ransacked the kitchen.

9. Parsnips were the “potato” of ancient Europe - until the potato came along.

10. A pediatrician and popular blogger recommends that the best way to get kids to eat parsnips is to make french fries out of them. Sounds reasonable. I would eat a parsnip too if someone threatened to otherwise make a french fry out of me.

Well there you go. Sadly that was only seven facts about parsnips. Two of them I totally fabricated. I think you can guess which two. Sorry folks. I can’t always be trusted!


IntrepidReader said...

Great Job New Day! You did the lowly vegetable justice.

bookworm said...

As it happens, I enjoy parsnips, grated and included in potato latkes - yummy. And yes, wild parsnips are a problem here where I live in upstate New York and they are extremely caustic. Alana

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Intrepid, you are too kind.

bookworm, that does sound yummy! I like parsnips but I do not encounter them often.