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Old 03-02-2010, 12:09 AM
GilaB GilaB is offline
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Why are rutabagas covered in a thick layer of wax?

Why are rutabagas (aka swedes) covered in a thick layer of wax? If the wax acts as a preservative on root veggies, why aren't other vegetables coated in it as well? Yes, peppers, cucumbers, and so on get thin layers of shiny, pretty wax to make them more appealing in the store, but the rutabaga coat is several millimeters thick and obviously for a different purpose. Are we supposed to attach wicks and use them as round, totally unsafe candles?

ETA: I wasn't sure whether to put this in GQ or CS, but put it here because it's a food question, even though it's not strictly about cooking. Please move it if I guessed wrong!

Last edited by GilaB; 03-02-2010 at 12:10 AM.. Reason: forum choice explanation
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:35 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:41 AM
Athena Athena is online now
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Turnips and parsnips, at least around here, have the same thick waxy coating as rutabaga.

Traditionally, root vegetables like these were stored through the winter, and the wax helps preserve them. I think other vegetables (cukes, peppers, etc) can't be stored that long no matter what you do, so no wax, except for aesthetic reasons.
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