Swedes are available all year round, but they are harder to get in December and January.
Storage and Handling
Store in the refrigerator. Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating.
Swedes have been around since the 17th century when the swede was developed in Sweden, from a hybrid between a turnip and a type of cabbage.
- Swedes belong to the same family as turnips and cabbages
- Different cultures have developed their own ways to use them
- The Scottish serve them boiled and mashed with their traditional dish, haggis
- In the American Midwest they are mashed and candied
- In Finland they are casseroled with cream and spices
- Swede is also known as Swedish turnip or rutabaga, rutabaga is Swedish for red bags, referring to the purple, bronze crowns
- Swedes are quite similar to turnips, however, swede flesh is yellow orange, not white, and they taste sweeter than turnips
- Swedes are more available in winter and are said to be better tasting after a good frost, hence the best swedes in New Zealand are reputed to be those grown south of Gore in Southland
- Although the leaves are eaten in many countries, it is the edible roots that are commercially available in New Zealand
- Swedes have a delicate flavour, great texture and are very versatile
- Plant in January to April
- They take about three to four months to grow and are best harvested after a frost
Swedes are a good source of vitamin C and a source of dietary fibre and vitamin B6.
You will find the full Nutrition Information Panel on the New Zealand Food Composition Data website. This website is owned jointly by Plant & Food Research and the Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health. This website holds the most comprehensive collection of high-quality nutrient data for New Zealand foods. The Database is managed and maintained by dedicated Plant & Food Research staff.