Skirrets are a rare hardy perennial vegetable plant not easily found. Skirret (Sium sisarum) is a member of the carrot and parsley family and was enjoyed widely in Europe back in the 14th century, before potatoes were introduced. The fleshy tuberous sweet white roots form in prongs from a crown and do best in cooler areas. The leaves can be eaten as well as the roots. Raw it is similar to carrots and parsnip. Cook like beets, boil, stew or roasted for soups and stir fry. Used as sweet flavor in fritters and pies like carrot. Harvest after light frost for the most satisfying flavor.
Skirret may have made its first documented appearance in Britain in a 1322 list of seeds maintained by the gardener for the Archbishop of Canterbury. It seems to be the Lost Crop of the Europeans. It was a favorite of the Emperor Tiberius, a man who could have pretty much anything he wanted for his table. He liked it so much that he demanded it as tribute from the Germans.
Skirrets like shade, rich deep soil with lots of organic matter, but soil that is loose. They need to be well watered to stop the roots from becoming tough and enjoy some liquid feed. Self fertile. The flowers are beneficial for bees and butterflies. Zone 4-8.
Other Names: Suikerwortel, Crummock, Zuckerwurzel, Chervis, Girole, rare root vegetable, ancient vegetable, skyrwates, middle age vegetable, rare vegetable