Location: Tsuruoka City, Atsumi area
Planting Season: Mid August - Early September
Harvesting Season: October- December
The Atsumi Turnip
The Atsumi turnip is one of the many famous heirloom crops grown here in Tsuruoka that added to the city's gastronomic appeal, helping achieve its UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy designation back in 2014. This heirloom crop has been famously grown in the Atsumi area of Tsuruoka City for over 400 years, and is one of the oldest native crops remaining in Yamagata prefecture. The Atsumi turnip is a beautiful dark red-violet turnip cultivated using traditional slash-and-burn methods in the Atsumi area.
The texture of this turnip is very crisp and crunchy with a slightly sweet and peppery taste depending on the shape. Although it is typically eaten pickled, it can also be eaten raw!
Over 200 years ago this turnip was such a sought after and expensive ingredient that 18 turnips could be exchanged for 1 shō (approx. 1.5 kg) of rice!
For more details check out the video below!