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BTD Forums  /  Eat Right 4 Your Type  /  Do rutabegas naturally have that waxy coating?
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, January 14, 2011, 12:07am
If I ask any of my local supermarket employees for a rutabega, they'll look at me like I have two heads. Not even the specialty produce place knows what a rutabega is. But if I ask for a "wax turnip" then they'll show me where the rutabegas are (or apologize for being out of stock.)

Why do rutabegas have so much wax on the outside? Do they grow that way? Are they dipped in wax before getting to the stores so they'll keep better? Do they naturally grow wax but get more wax added? And what exactly is this wax, if it's not a natural part of the vegetable? I peel it away anyway, but should I worry if small bits end up in my food?
Posted by: Drea, Friday, January 14, 2011, 12:35am; Reply: 1
That's weird. I can find rutabagas locally that don't have wax on them. At Smiths and Albertsons, no less. I've always peeled my rutabagas because I rarely find them organic.
Posted by: Lola, Friday, January 14, 2011, 12:45am; Reply: 2
I enjoy those raw, and cut off the thick skin.....
Posted by: Drea, Friday, January 14, 2011, 12:46am; Reply: 3
Lola, do you find them with a waxy skin in your parts?
Posted by: Wholefoodie, Friday, January 14, 2011, 1:42am; Reply: 4
Here is a blog post I did about wax on produce. Rutabagas have a thick layer of it and after having sticky wax left on my knife each time I cut through them, I decided to do a little investigating. Won't be buying them anymore!

Here is another intesting post on organic rutabagas I can sometimes find at Wegmans:

Posted by: Drea, Friday, January 14, 2011, 2:29am; Reply: 5
I have a rutabaga in the fridge and don't remember it having any coating, so I just went to look. It's in a Whole Foods bag, so perhaps it was organic after all? No coating, just skin. I even cut it open to make sure. It tastes like a rutabaga, but perhaps it's not?
Posted by: balletomane, Friday, January 14, 2011, 2:46am; Reply: 6
I just cooked some rutabaga yesterday in my veggie broth... it's called "Holland Swede" here, LOL!
It's actually rutabaga from Holland, and I found no wax on the peel.
Posted by: Ribbit, Friday, January 14, 2011, 2:50am; Reply: 7
Yes, I can only find them waxed. >:(  I think it keeps them from sprouting.  It's tragic, really.  Do they sit there so long that they would sprout?!  Then maybe we shouldn't be buying them..... :P
Posted by: Lola, Friday, January 14, 2011, 3:21am; Reply: 8
mine don t come waxed, but I do cut away the tough skin with a pairing knife
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, January 14, 2011, 3:29am; Reply: 9
I don't see anything "bad" about root vegetables sitting out for a long period of time after harvest and  before consumption. Little House in the Big Woods comes to mind, where they'd store a winter's worth of food in the attic every autumn.

OK, so the waxy coating isn't naturally there. I peel it away anyway, so I'm not going to worry too much about it. Rutabegas are beneficial for me and my kids will actually eat them, so I plan to keep on buying the kind that I can afford.
Posted by: JJR, Friday, January 14, 2011, 4:14am; Reply: 10
I really don't understand what the problem is either.  I cut over 1/4" off the outside anyways.  So, I suppose some traces of the wax may get on my knife, but I'm not eating it. Ours does have the wax though.

I don't know, maybe it's stupid.  But I love them suckers.
Posted by: Cristina, Friday, January 14, 2011, 4:52am; Reply: 11
rutagaba = yellow turnip = cross between turnip and cabbage and we get them without waxing here.  They are nice and sweet when roasted.  I do peel them too  and they are one of bene foods .. I love them!!  :)
Posted by: Victoria, Friday, January 14, 2011, 5:09am; Reply: 12
Rutabaga seems to be one of those vegetables that is 'just right'.  It's versatile and pleasant tasting, satisfying . .

The ones I buy are not waxed, and I peel them anyway.  They seem cleaner without that lumpy skin.  :)
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