Before carrots were popular, there was the parsnip. Although it is has since been eclipsed in popularity, at one time parsnips were treasured for their sweetness. The Roman emperor Tiberius actually had them shipped from Germany along the Rhine because they were his favorites. Parsnips are not as pretty as carrots, and they can sometimes have a woody core or be spongy, which is why I think they fell out of favor. They do, however, have a lovely flavor-sweet and nutty-that lends itself to many dishes. They are a nice contrast in a dish of roasted roots full of sharper turnips and rutabagas, and they make a great soup. They are fun to cut into rounds and sauté, too. So, remember this season, whether it’s parsnips or carrots, they are BIG and delicious. By the way they store well. It’s February and we are still eating carrots from this last season.