Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Parsnip or Parsley?

Could your group please help settle an argument I am having with a Polish colleague.

Are parsnip and parsley the same thing?

What I think of as parsnip (a white carrot shaped root vegetable), my Polish colleague claims is merely the root of the parsley plant, and that they both have the same name in Poland.

Is this true?


Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

Parsnip = pasternak
Parsley = pietruszka

The confusion may be explained here. My brother thought parsnips were parsley roots when he first came to the UK. I guess parsley roots are more common in Poland than here and they look similar. Easily confused if you're not familiar with parsnips.

the great parsley parsnips debate

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

That's very interesting.

I've never seen parsley root for sale in England. I think we just use the green part of the plant.

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

It's probably a case of "waste not want not" in Poland because they had to be resourceful during communism. Poland sort of had the UK's wartime rationing - but for 50 years. So people became very creative, especially when trying to feed a family with no food in the shops. It's a pity that's all dying out now with the convenience foods they have in the shops in Poland.

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

Thanks for getting that one ironed out finally!

I knew I wasn't mad ...

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

Parsnip or pasternak isn't popular in Poland. I don't think I've ever seen it for sale or grown. Parsley root isn't eaten like parsnip as a vegetable as it is in England. It's more of a added flavour for soups, etc.

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

Parsnips can get confused with cow fodder in Poland!

White beet or sth - never ironed that one out properly either. Swede is not kindly looked on anywhere, I suppose!

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

According to Jane Grigson, Parsley Root (also called Pietruszka, Hamburg Parsley and Petroseline Wortle) is a different thing altogether from Parsnip (Paternak). If you cook a Parsnip and a Parsley Root and eat them at the same time, you'll notice the difference.

She says it was first brought to the UK from Holland in 1727 but never caught on. It's very popular in an area stretching from North Germany down to Bulgaria (where they batter and deep fry it to serve with yoghurt) and right across Russia. She says it's an essential ingredient of Borscht and Krupnik (her Krupnik recipe seems better than the standard Polish one).

She also gives an interesting recipe for Hamburg Eel Soup with it in.

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

I guess people add different things to barszcz and krupnik depending on preference. It's like every other dish (Polish or not). Everyone has their own secret ingredients.

I'd agree it's not a popular veg in Poland. I'd never heard of pasternak until this discussion.

Re: Parsnip or Parsley?

But have you heard of Doctor Zhivago?