The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot. Native to Eurasia from the Mediterranean through the Caucasus Mountains. Cultivated by early Greek and Roman civilizations. It did not spread as far and wide as many of the other Mediterranean crops. The parsnip was much esteemed and the Emperor Tiberius accepted part of the tribute payable to Rome by Germany in the form of parsnips. In Europe, the vegetable was used as a source of sugar before sugar cane and beet were available. Popular in Northern Europe, the UK, New England and eastern Canada. Thrives in cooler climates than carrots. Delicious parsnip recipes.