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Difference Between Turnip and Rutabaga

rutabaga-turnipTurnip vs Rutabaga

Most of the people get confused with Turnips and Rutabagas as the two look almost similar. Belonging to the mustard family, the Turnips and Rutabagas are cool weather crops. Though Turnips and Rutabagas look similar, one can find that they are different in every aspect.

Since Palaeolithic times, Turnips have been a staple food in many parts of the world. It was important for the ancient Romans that they even held forums to discuss the principles of its preparation. On the other hand, Rutabaga is an 18th century invention, which is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.

One major difference that can be seen is in their size. Rutabagas are bigger than Turnips.

Rutabagas have a rough texture than Turnips. They are tougher and starchier than Turnips. While the Turnips come white-fleshed, Rutabagas are yellow-fleshed. But as an exception, one can also come across yellow-fleshed Turnips and white-fleshed Rutabagas.

While the flesh of Turnips remain whitish after cooked, the Rutabagas changes to yellowish-orange after cooking. Coming to flavour, the Turnips have a bitter flavour than the Rutabagas. In sweetness, the Rutabagas are a bit sweeter.

Coming to the green leaves, the Turnips greens are widely used than the Rutabagas greens. Though Rutabagas greens are also served cooked and the tender leaves are used in salads, the Turnips greens are more a favourite.

Another major difference that is seen between the Turnips and Rutabagas is that they come with different chromosomes. While Turnips come with 20 chromosomes, the Rutabagas have 38 chromosomes (20 chromosomes from Turnips and 18 from cabbage).

Though both Turnips and Rutabagas are available all round the year, Turnips are widely got in October through March. The Rutabagas season falls from September through June.

The Rutabagas are known to last longer days than Turnips in storage. While turnips can be refrigerated for up to a week, rutabagas can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Summary
1.Rutabagas are bigger than Turnips.
2.Since Palaeolithic times, Turnips have been a staple food in many parts of the world. Rutabaga is an 18th century invention, which is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.
3.While the Turnips come white-fleshed, Rutabagas are yellow-fleshed
4.While the flesh of Turnips remain whitish after cooked, the Rutabagas changes to yellowish-orange after cooking
5.While Turnips come with 20 chromosomes, the Rutabagas have 38 chromosomes


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4 Comments

  1. Wow.. very informative, thank you… I actually thought they were both turnips. This would explain why I had a “turnip” dish that I loved, but when I bought some to make myself, it was a bitter taste in comparison. I guess I’m more partial to rutabagas.

  2. tHANK yOU FOR CLEARING THIS UP FOR ME,NOW i’M READY FOR T-DAY

  3. Thank you, this information was very helpful!

  4. Never too old to learn something…. I make my mashed potatoes and add a cook rutabaga… Obviously, I was wrong about 2 things.
    I use one small one, cubed (called them turnips) but I always get the ugly ones that are orange when cooked … to 5 lb of white potatoes; Now that I have called by the wrong name… I know now why it is much sweeter. It is a cross between a turnip and cabbage! ( If you use the turnip instead, the potatoes are bitter….) turnip is round and white…. Do not overpower the white potatoes with the rutabaga… and make the way you make the reg mash… You will get compliments abound… FYI, my secret ingredient is 2 tbsp of mayo…. and , I do use btr and sour crm. s & p…

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