Turnip played a huge role in the diet of our ancestors. Despite the fact that its homeland is Western Asia, turnip has been known in Russia since ancient times, it is mentioned in Russian chronicles. It was only in the nineteenth century that the turnip began to gradually replace the potato.
12 interesting facts about turnips
- Turnip is an ideal slimming product. 100 grams of this root vegetable contains only 30 kilocalories, but it contains more than enough vitamins.
- Turnips didn’t require much skill; it was enough to fill a pot and put it in the oven. After a certain time, the turnip softened, turning into an appetizing dish. Hence the expression - "easier than a steamed turnip". It began to mean a very simple occupation, for which the skill of the performer is not necessary.
- Turnip remarkably adapted to the harsh Russian climate, there is evidence that even monks on the Solovetsky Islands sowed it. Turnips (plantations where turnips were grown) are often mentioned in ancient documents. Perhaps, in no other country has turnip been such a popular product as in our country. The crop failure of this culture was a real disaster that threatened with hunger.
- The turnip was also known in other states. But in ancient Egypt and Greece, it was treated without due respect, considering it to be food for slaves. For example, the builders who erected the Egyptian pyramids were fed with turnips.
- In the Russian folk tale "Turnip", the grandfather managed to grow such a root crop that it was possible to pull it out of the ground only through the joint efforts of the grandfather, grandmother, granddaughter, dog, cat and mouse. Is the turnip really reaching such a huge size? According to the famous Guinness Book of Records, the largest turnip was grown in Nafferton in 1972. The record holder's weight was 15 kilograms 975 grams. There is information about larger specimens. For example, in 1768, the weight of one turnip was supposedly as much as 33 kilograms. But there is no documentary evidence of this fact.
- Turnips contain a lot of calcium, therefore, they were an indispensable tool for strengthening the bones of peasant children. In addition, turnip has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. A mixture of turnip juice with honey is very good for colds. And rinsing the mouth with turnip juice saved our ancestors from toothache. Doctors do not recommend eating turnips for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Every year on the second Saturday of November, the Swiss city of Richterschwil is host to the Turnip Festival. This tradition began about a hundred years ago. the streets and houses of the city are decorated with thousands of lanterns made of turnip. And the visitors of the event are offered a large selection of dishes. Naturally, from turnips. It is the largest turnip festival in the world. During the festival, it is harvested about 25 tons.
- Turnip was one of the few agricultural crops that could be harvested twice a year, even in our climate. It was sown for the first time at the end of April to be harvested at the beginning of July. This turnip had excellent taste, but was not suitable for long-term storage. For the winter, they stocked up turnips, which were planted in July, and harvested already in September.
- On September 28, the Orthodox Church celebrates the day of the holy Great Martyr Nikita of Gotha. And the people called him Nikita-Reporez or Nikita-Guseprolet. At this time, geese flew away from the north to warm lands, bringing on their tails, as the people said, winter. And turnips were removed from the gardens, harvesting them for the winter.
- "Into the ground with a flea, from the ground - with a cake." That was such a riddle about the turnip. The thing is that its seeds are so small that it is very difficult to sow them with your hands. Therefore, there was such a craft - "turnip spitter". The spitter had to accurately distribute the amount of seeds in a certain area and scatter them evenly. Despite the outward simplicity, the occupation was not easy, and the work of the spitter was well paid.
- Turnips of different varieties are yellow or white. Table varieties are flat or slightly rounded, while forage varieties are elongated. They are called turnips. It gives an excellent yield, up to 50 tons per hectare, and is used as feed for many types of domestic animals. An interesting fact: in 1984 the first album of the Soviet rock group "Rondo" was released. It is difficult to say if the band members have ever been involved in agriculture, but they called this album "Turnips".
- The recipe for a dish called "repnik" can be found even at Vladimir Ivanovich Dahl. To prepare "turnip", boiled or steamed turnips were mixed with malt or oatmeal, poured over with water and left to languish in the oven. Malt was made by sprouting cereals, most often barley. And oatmeal is flour made from barley or oats. The grain was first steamed, then dried, fried and pounded (hence the name).