In Italian, parsnip is known as pastinaca. But try to find one anywhere in central or southern Italy. They're virtually unknown. Lorenzo, our neighbour, didn't even recognise the photo on the seed packet. His wife, Marina, did. She had seen them in Prague. But never tried them.
They're known in the north, especially around Parma, because they're fed to the pig population, source of the glorious Parma ham. A noble cause, but the locals don't know what they're missing out on.
I feel a bit like Emperor Tiberius. It's said that he brought parsnips to Rome from France and Germany.
Well, a couple of thousand years later, I'm bringing them to central Italy.