Last week while rooting around the world wide web for odd holidays I learned that March is National Rutabaga Month.
According to the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute (ARSI), every month is National Rutabaga Month and not only that: 2011 is the International Year of the Rutabaga. Who knew the homely relative of the turnip was so celebrated?
ARSI is located in Forest Grove, Oregon, the Rutabaga Capital of the World Since 1951. (So says ARSI. I could find no stake to that claim on the Forest Grove website.) The ARSI blog, The Rutabagan, and its Facebook page are sources of information, recipes, and rutabaga news, real and imagined.
Last night in honor of National Rutabaga Month I made oven baked baga fries. Simple and delish.
Just peel the baga, cut it into thick slices (or cubes, if you prefer), sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and coarse salt, toss in oil and spread in a glass baking dish or on a baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated, 400 degree oven until tender, about 45 minutes—time depends on thickness of the slices.
But wait, there’s more baga news!
The annual Rutabaga Curling World Championship takes place in December at the Ithaca, New York Farmers’ Market. Yes, it’s what you think…the sport of curling played with the veggie. Check out the 13th annual event at The International Rutabaga Curl, and listen to The Rutabaga Chorus singing the Halleluja Chorus-like “Rutabaga.”
The annual Rutabaga Festival is held in Cumberland, Wisconsin, the weekend before Labor Day. (The website still has last year’s info on it.)
For fascinating facts on the history and health benefits of the rutabaga check out the Raw Food Materia Medica.
And although I cannot imagine why you wouldn’t want to do anything but steam, mash, bake or roast the baga, someone has come up with 10 Ways To Use Rutabagas Without Eating Them.