The beetroot (alternatively also red beet) is a cultivated turnip and belongs to the foxtail family. It is also called red beet and, in parts of Austria, beetroot. The name is derived from the Latin name "beta", which means turnip. The beetroot originally comes from North Africa and was brought to Europe by the Romans in the Middle Ages. This plant is related to the sugar beet and to chard. Because the red colour is very intense, the beetroot was also used as a dye in the past. There are several varieties of beetroot, these differ in shape and colour, as there are dark red, yellow and also white beetroots. The light varieties taste sweeter than the dark beetroots. Nowadays, beetroot is a classic winter vegetable in Germany and can be eaten raw or cooked.