One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An East Asian plant of the parsley family, formerly cultivated in Europe for its edible carrot-like root.
- ‘Your pie being ready, lay in your skirrets; season also the marrow of three or four bones with cinnamon, sugar, a little salt and grated bread.’
- ‘As late as 1716, Bradley, in his Historia Plantarum Succulentarum, speaks of them as ‘inferior to skirrets and radishes.’’
- ‘However, mention of skirrets had largely disappeared from the recipe books by the end of the 18th century.’
- ‘The skirret gets an early head start, and is in full size and bloom by the time the hog peanut gets going.’
- ‘I have no idea whether sparrows eat skirret, but they were definitely sniffing around it the other night.’
- ‘His ‘Soops’ called for savory ingredients, such as spinach, carrots, artichokes, potatoes, skirrets, and parsnips.’
- ‘The skirret is a native of China, and was so much valued in Rome, that it is said the emperor Tiberius accepted the roots for tribute.’
Middle English skirwhit(e), perhaps from Scots skire ‘bright, clear’ + white.
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