Synonym: white turnip; botanical name: Brassica rapa var. rapa



The turnip is an old cultivated plant that was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Prior to the advent of the potato, the turnip was a dietary staple in Europe. It was also used as fodder, however. Today it plays only a small role in our diet.


Several species are classified under the term turnip.

* Teltow turnips (Brassica rapa var. rapifera subvar. pygmaea)

– considered to be the finest turnips
– small, flat and oblong
– white pulp
–sweetish taste

* May turnips (Brassica rapa var rapifera subvar. majalis)

– small, spherical
– white or yellow pulp
– usually white cortex, sometimes also yellow or red
– not as distinctive in taste as Teltow turnips

* Fall turnip (Brassica rapa var rapa subvar. esculenta) – large, round
– green or red top
– white pulp
– tart flavour

* Turnip greens (Brassica rapa var. rapifera subvar. pabularia)

– grown almost exclusively in the Rhineland, North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands – cultivation predominantly of a coarse-leaved variety with light-yellow leaf stalks
– The leaves and/or stalks are eaten, not the turnips.
– Leaves can be eaten raw as a salad or as a vegetable cooked, steamed or in a stew; a specialty of the Rhineland and Westphalia.


Turnips are rich in glucosinolates, one of the secondary plant substances.

100 g contain:

White turnip,
Energie (kcal)
Wasser (g)
Eiweiß (g)
Fett (g)
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
Ballaststoffe (g)
Vitamin C (mg)
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
Folsäure (µg)
Kalium (mg)
Natrium (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Magnesium (mg)
Eisen (mg)

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

When you are shopping for turnips, an undamaged cortex and an even colouring are signs of quality. For Teltow turnips the optimal size is that of a child's fist.

When you are buying turnip greens look for fresh leaves. Turnips should be eaten soon after they are purchased. They can be kept in the refrigerator for only about 2 days.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Turnips are eaten only cooked. They are peeled and cut into slices or strips. Then they can be served cooked, steamed or fried as a vegetable dish or as an addition to stews. Try puréed turnips or turnip soup sometime.





  This article was written by




  With the website the Fritz Terfloth Foundation of Münster offers consumers independent and competent information about plant foods and their health effects. All texts are subject to German copyright law. Information about the conditions for use of the texts by third parties can be found here.