The Ugliest Vegetable in Britain

It's official: after a nationwide competition conducted by the National Trust, this parsnip from Bedfordshire has won the prize as the ugliest vegetable in Britain. And the runners-up include weird onions, ugly tomatoes and purple carrots. The competition was devised to celebrate ugly fruits and vegetables, which taste great but are usually rejected for their looks and size. It highlights the nonsense of selling only aesthetically pleasing fruits and vegetables in supermarkets. For years the argument has been that consumers will not buy any anything which looks less than perfect; hence the rejection of many good, edible vegetables. But views are changing, as customers become more knowlegeable and some supermarkets are recognising this. In praise of the humble parsnip: its appearance should not detract from its delightful taste--it can be eaten mashed, sautéed, buttered or - above all - roasted. It has recently been re-invented as a type of fashionable chip. Beauty is in the mouth, just as much as in the eye, of the beholder. :: National Trust