Parsnips have short roots with broad shoulders and an attractive smooth skin. The plant can grow up to 2 m above ground and loosely resembles celery. The edible taproots, which are white and carrot-like, are very nutritious. They can be cooked or baked, or even mashed and pureed. Parsnip wine and beer were made in the 1600's, and parsnip was used as a sweetener before sugar beet was developed. It was believed to have many medicinal uses.