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How to Tell If Kohlrabi is Bad

Have you ever found yourself standing in your kitchen, staring at the unusual vegetable called kohlrabi and wondering, “How to Tell If Kohlrabi is Bad?”

Fear not, because this comprehensive guide is here to help you make that decision with ease!

In this blog post, we’ll take you through the telltale signs of spoiled kohlrabi and provide you with valuable tips to ensure you enjoy this nutritious veggie at its best.

How to tell if kohlrabi is bad


If kohlrabi is bad, it will have brown or black patches on the surface of the bulb. The leaves may also be wilted and discolored. If you see any of these signs, it’s best to throw the kohlrabi away.

Fresh kohlrabi vegetable with an orange background

Kohlrabi is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that belongs to the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

It has a mild and sweet flavor, as well as a crunchy texture. Although it can be eaten both raw or cooked, it’s important to know when kohlrabi is bad, so you can avoid getting sick.

To determine if kohlrabi is bad, check the color, smell, and texture of the vegetable. With these tips, you’ll be able to tell if kohlrabi is bad and prevent any illnesses.

How it looks

When kohlrabi has gone bad, it may look brown or yellow in color, look mushy, and have dark spots on the surface.

The leaves may be brown or torn up, and they may look moldy. It may also be discolored, have dark brown foliage, and wilt.

If it is left in-ground for too long, the kohlrabi may become woody, though this does not necessarily mean it has gone bad.

How it feels

When kohlrabi has gone bad, its texture changes significantly. Instead of being firm and crisp, it becomes soft, spongy, or mushy to the touch.

Additionally, the outer skin may appear wrinkled or shriveled, and a slimy or sticky surface may develop, indicating spoilage.

These textural changes are signs that kohlrabi is no longer safe to eat and should be discarded.

How it smells

When kohlrabi has gone bad, its smell changes notably. Instead of having a mild, fresh, and earthy aroma, spoiled kohlrabi will emit an unpleasant, sour, or rotten odor.

The smell can be quite strong and pungent, indicating the presence of spoilage bacteria or mold. If your kohlrabi smells off or distinctly foul, it is no longer safe to eat and should be thrown away.

How it tastes

Fresh kohlrabi has a mildly sweet and slightly peppery flavor with a hint of earthiness.

However, if it’s spoiled, the taste will change, becoming bitter, sour, or even putrid.

Consuming spoiled kohlrabi is not recommended, as it could lead to potential health risks. If you notice any off flavors while eating kohlrabi, it’s best to stop and discard the vegetable.

Signs Good Kohlrabi Bad Kohlrabi
Appearance Firm, round bulb with a bright, greenish-white or purple color. Wrinkled or discolored surface, possibly with dark or moldy spots.
Texture Firm and crisp to the touch. Soft, spongy, slimy, or overly soft.
Smell Mild, fresh, and earthy aroma. Unpleasant, sour, or rotten odor.
Taste Mildly sweet and slightly peppery flavor. Bitter, sour, or putrid taste.

Find out how to tell if cauliflower is bad or how to tell if broccoli is bad as well.

What is kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a unique vegetable that belongs to the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

People grow it for its thick root that looks like a turnip and can be eaten raw or cooked. Sometimes called German turnip or German cabbage, kohlrabi is a healthy and tasty food with a mild, sweet flavor similar to cabbage.

It has few calories but is rich in fiber and vitamin C. You can eat it in different ways, such as raw, cooked, in salads, stir-fries, or grated in slaws. Kohlrabi grows best in cool weather and soil that holds water well.

What does kohlrabi taste like?

Kohlrabi has a signature sweet-but-peppery flavor profile, with a texture and taste similar to that of broccoli stems.

It combines a little peppery spice from turnips or radishes with the sweetness of the broccoli as well as an earthy flavor that many people like and can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled.

How to store kohlrabi

To store kohlrabi, keep it in a cold, slightly wet place with a lot of humidity, like the crisper drawer in your fridge. Keep the temperature between 32° F and 40° F (0° C to 4°C).

Put the round stem part in a plastic bag with holes, and take the leaves off the stems. Store the leaves in a Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel.

If you want to keep kohlrabi for a long time, you can freeze it in small pieces or whole for up to 8 months.

If you pick kohlrabi in the fall, you can store it in dark, cool places like cellars or basements for a few months. You can also learn how to freeze kohlrabi to make it last longer.

Check out my post on how to store asparagus as well as how to store eggplant.

Can you eat soft kohlrabi?

If the kohlrabi has dark spots on it, it’s best to avoid eating it because it will be mushy and soft and have signs of dryness.

Otherwise, you can still safely eat kohlrabi if it’s soft, but the texture and flavor of it may not be as desirable.

To determine if kohlrabi is good or bad, you should check the color, smell it, and touch it to see if it’s mushy.

If it looks and smells fine, you can still eat it, but you should blanch it in a pot before consuming it.

How long will kohlrabi keep in the fridge?

Kohlrabi can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed bag for up to three weeks.

To maximize the freshness and crispness of the kohlrabi, separate the leaves before storing them and keep the root in a sealed perforated plastic bag.

It is important to use the stems and leaves as soon as possible, as they may begin to wilt in a few days.

To extend the shelf life of kohlrabi, make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrap the remaining bulb portion tightly in plastic or beeswax.

Frequently asked questions for how to tell if kohlrabi is bad

Yes, you can freeze kohlrabi to prolong its freshness. Simply peel and cut it into chunks or slices, blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, cool it in ice water, drain, and store it in airtight containers or freezer bags.

Fresh kohlrabi should be firm to the touch, with no soft or mushy spots. If the kohlrabi feels spongy, slimy, or overly soft, it’s a sign that it’s gone bad.

Fresh kohlrabi should have a firm, rounded bulb with a bright, greenish-white or purple color, depending on the variety. The leaves should be crisp and vibrant green, free from any yellowing or wilting.

While wilted leaves may indicate the kohlrabi is not at its freshest, they don’t necessarily mean the bulb is bad. Remove the leaves and check the bulb’s firmness, color, and smell before deciding whether to discard it.


Learning how to tell if kohlrabi is bad is essential for enjoying this nutritious vegetable’s unique taste and numerous health benefits.

By understanding the visual, textural, and olfactory cues that indicate spoilage, you can confidently enjoy kohlrabi in your favorite recipes, knowing you’re getting the most out of this versatile veggie.

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