Parsnip versus parsley – what is the difference?


Some people may have troubles distinguishing certain types of vegetables from each other. Take for example parsnips and parsley. Both look very similar. But if you look closely, you will see the clear difference. If you taste these veggies you can tell for sure. In this article you will learn how they differ, but we shall also point out the less noticeable differences.

How to tell the difference at first glance

While the green part and stems above the ground of parsnip are somewhat sunken, parsley has the green stems bulging upwards and the root rises upwards like a small mountain with a green stems sticking out of it. Parsnips have stronger roots and are softer. Parsley is usually thinner and has a smoother surface and is smaller. But the appearance is not the only thing where they differ.


Photo: Pixabay

Taste and smell

If you take into account other characteristics, you can tell the difference rather easily: the taste and smell are very different. While parsley root has intense smells and taste, parsnip’s taste resembles a carrot.In the kitchen you may treat parsnip little bit like parsley, as it tastes slightly sweet to nutty and it can also resemble a bit of celery or carrots, as mentioned above, but the taste of parsley is definitely sharper than that of a parsnip.

Parsnip and parsley: preparation and storage

Both root vegetables may be used raw or cooked. Parsnip tastes good in soups and stews. But you can also put it in salads or you may prepare vegetable patties out of it. Cut it into slices and fry it. If you mix parsnip with apples, beets and other root vegetables, you can make a delicious juice or smoothie out of it. Make sure to clean parsley and parsnip thoroughly under running water and then peel it before use.

Buying tips

When buying parsnips or parsleys, choose smaller pieces. The smaller, the milder the flavour. The skin should be firm and intact. Both vegetables have a relatively long shelf life, but if you want to extend it further, wrap it in a damp cloth and store it in the fridge. This way it should remain in perfect condition for up to 10 days.

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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