The favorite root vegetable of Roman Emperor Tiberius, skirret was also a popular offering on tables during the Tudor period. Sweet, dainty, and delicate, this veggie was beloved by many a taste bud throughout history, but as industry and progress altered the agricultural world, farmers found the low yield of skirret was simply not commercially viable. Instead, farmers opted for similar but higher-yield root vegetables like parsnips and potatoes. Because of the health benefits of skirret, many home gardeners have taken to planting this delicacy once again.
Most gardeners and farmers grow skirret for its roots. Its name comes from an old English word that means “white root.” The Germans refer to it as “sugar root.” Skirret is traditionally boiled and served much like carrots or parsnips, cut into long strips. Some of the roots contain a woody core that cooks should remove during preparation. Skirret boasts a sweet taste and aromatic fragrance.
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