CBCnews

Cabbage conundrum, rutabaga riddle

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by Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca

I love trying new recipes and discovering new items in the grocery store. Top of my list the other week was savoy cabbage — yet I came home with a rutabaga.

You see, I know all about “exotic” produce: durian, lychee, bitter melon, jicama. But it’s the common stuff that most people in North America recognize that stumps me.

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A rutabaga — which is not a savoy cabbage. (Andree Lau/CBC)
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A savoy cabbage — which is not a rutabaga. (Chris Beckett)

I didn’t grow up with turnips or brussels sprouts, so when British chef Jamie Oliver showed up on my TV cooking something called Bubble and Squeak, I thought it would be fun to try.

Off I went to the grocery store, list in hand.

I walked to the cabbage section, saw a sign for “savoy cabbage,” picked up an unfamiliar brown lump from the corresponding section and put it in my cart. The fact it had no leaves should've been a clue.

As we were checking out, my fiancé said: “What is that?”

"A savoy cabbage!” I proclaimed proudly.

“Um, I don’t think so,” he said.

“But it was under the sign that said savoy cabbage,” I protested.

The grocery receipt and Google soon proved that I just bought a rutabaga.

And to make matters worse, my copy editor just informed me that a rutabaga IS a turnip. I’m so confused.

What do I do with a rutabaga? What kind of produce misidentifications have you run into?

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