Parsnip is cultivated but it also grows wild in Alberta and other parts of Canada.
Wild parsnips are invasive. They destroy other native plants. The sap from this plant burns skin.
Native water hemlock looks a lot like parsnip and is toxic!
Parsnips are dominatingly sweet! Their taste is distinct, identifiable and can over-power other ingredients.
Because parsnips are naturally sweet, they are excellent roasted such as with other roots vegetables and onions. They can also be boiled, steamed, mashed, or stewed.
Eaten raw, they are good too. With the exception of the core, they are not quite as crunchy as raw carrots. Shaved in a salad can be lovely. Younger parsnips are better for texture.
Flavour-wise, parsnips pair well with other sweet ingredients like honey, onion, apples but also cream and herbs. In curries, they complement celery and cauliflower. Traditionally, parsnips are roasted with drippings from roast beef.
More on Cooking Parsnips
The Secrets of the Seed Vegetables, Fruits & Nuts