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A pile of turnips in Citymarket, Jyväskylä.

Before potatoes came from the New World, the French ate a lot of navets, and turnips are still considered an essential ingredient in stews such as pot au feu and in dishes such as navarin d’agneau.


Some 25 varieties are grown in France, including big pale green Boulettes de Bussy, a légume oublié (a ‘forgotten’ ancient variety) cultivated by the village of Bussy-le-Châteay in Champagne. It and the rabiole or navet blanc are used in potage, or roasted, or to make raves salées.

Navets are often confusing (root vegetables are always confusing, if you ask me) with a navet boule d’or or chou-navet, aka rutabaga or swede.

In France a rubbish film is a navet, not a rotten tomato.


Text © Dana Facaros

Images by jaimefruitsetlegumes, Tiia Monto