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11-5-mullet-rutabagasAn unusual root made an appearance at the Norman Mullet Farm booth recently. Initially we thought it was a rutabaga, but it turned out to be a rather special variety of turnip.

This heirloom turnip is an inter-species cross between a rutabaga and a true turnip. It was developed/discovered by John Gilfeather of Vermont in the late 1800s. He sold them locally, but cut the tops and bottoms off so that no one else could propagate his turnip.

Sweeter and later to mature than other turnips, they taste better after a frost. “We love it mashed with carrots and a small potato,” says one resident of Maine.  I tried them this week steamed and mashed with butter, cream, salt & pepper, (just like mashed potatoes), and they were lovely!

There is even a Gilfeather Turnip Festival in Wardsboro, Vermont in late October each year! The Gilfeather turnip is listed on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Learn more about the Ark of Taste here.