Why is horseradish called that?
Have you ever stopped to think about the name “horseradish”? Where does it come from? What’s with the “horse” part of it? And why is a root vegetable associated with radishes, anyway? Don’t worry, we’ve got all the answers for you. Lucky for you and your taste buds, we’ve dug up some fun facts about horseradish that will make you appreciate this spicy condiment even more.
The Origins of Horseradish
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a root vegetable that belongs to the mustard family. Although its exact origins are not certain, most historians believe that horseradish has been grown throughout Europe and Asia since ancient times.
One possible explanation for how it came to be called horseradish goes back several centuries in England when people used horses as transportation. Apparently, before cars were invented (yawn), farmers would use horse-drawn plows to break up their tough soil so they could sow their crops each season. So far so good – no confusion there.
Except at the end of a long day working in fields amidst mud and unrelenting stench, gardeners also had an achingly sore lower back from moving heavy sacks full of dirt around their gardens! They tried stretching/yoga/grand things but they didn’t work always…until one day someone discovered how super strong smelling
roots helped them get better really quick!
These roots come from plants which grow low down close enough where hooves may kick off some dirt or manure into flowers/vegetables making them impossible to eat by insects or anything alive past Junebug season…however these roots kept stronger thanks mainly because humans still wanted something tasty instead!! These days farm buildings have outside sinks where everyone washes hands shoes after stepping out those muddy stubbies filled pits–
Ahem…back to our story, it seems these strong roots were so good for aching backs that they became known as “horseradish,” in honor of the hardworking animals that helped till the land.
So next time you spread horseradish on your roast beef sandwich or mix it in with your Bloody Mary, think about how this spicy condiment was once used to soothe sore muscles.
The Use of Horseradish Medicinally
Speaking of medicinal properties, horseradish has been used for centuries as more than just a tasty addition to sandwiches and cocktails. In fact, its pungent flavor and natural compounds have many health benefits too!
Horseradish root contains antibacterial qualities which can help prevent infection while dealing with pesky cuts/abrasions …plus a dollop goes well with almost any food! You can also use dried leaves as seasoning especially when preparing vegetables soups…
It’s believed that consuming horseradish can reduce inflammation throughout the body if taken little by little just like tiny spices , thanks largely due to high amount of vitamin C present in… (you guessed it) HORSERADISH! Plus researchers suggest people who eat horseradhis may be less likely to develop cancer…crazy right!?
In case hiccups are coming up–Take several pinches without drinking water- let each set tingle before swallowing down then continue chewing after you swallow last pinch carefully allowing successive “bursts” into mouth/be swallowed whole…Voila-No More Hiccups!!! Even cussin’ always helps here…
Although science doesn’t fully understand all implications associated—you’ve got nothing lose except maybe brand new painted things nearby!
That said given low levels possible toxicity involved careful moderation is better than over consumption would be naïve enough expect miracles healing virtues straight from nature only there must be limits!!!
Culinary Uses for Horseradish
Of course, most of us know horseradish as a spicy condiment that’s often served with roast beef. The reason it pairs so well with meats is because its sharp flavor and slight bitterness help to cut through the richness of fatty meats like prime rib or pork belly.
In Europe, horseradish is also commonly mixed in with mashed potatoes or added to hot dogs and sausages for extra zing! (Best part- there’s no judgment here!) For fish lovers-putting some on smoked salmon can never go wrong this side of the Atlantic!
Even vegetarians/vegans can enjoy dynamite Horseradish—place slices of tofu overtop each other then marinate blended mixture including salso, soy sauce garlic until everything’s soft as poached eggs next cover pan-fry on high heat adding toppings shaved carrots onions mayo+ketchup little mustard if desired! This will absolutely make you hooked for life…
Horseradishes themselves are actually incredibly versatile too – they can be boiled, roasted, cooked or microwaved depending on what texture/sweetness would suit your taste buds…(or maybe experiment a bit). Southern US even substituting them sometimes for turnips while preparing greens collard/ts spinach …These sinus provoking veggies however always drive good old soups curried dishes . They’ll definitely give any recipe more kick than suspected–Try throwing some in coleslaw/mustard based potato salads too—if feeling adventurous…Can add them anywhere —Just Don’t Be Shy!!!
Varieties of Horseradish
Nowadays there are many different varieties of horseradish available commercially. Some popular ones include:
The Bohemian variety has a creamy texture and mild flavor which makes it perfect for those who don’t want their food to be overly spicy.
As the name suggests-this type originating from Japan- it is milder than other types; those preferring less intense heat for their taste buds might find this good balance.
Maliner kren, which means “Bohemian horseradish” in German, has small roots and a more subtle flavor than some of the larger varieties. It’s perfect for making sauces or dishes that call for a less spicy kick while not losing out flavors.
No matter what type you choose to try-hard to go with organically aged varieties as they tend have greater nutrient density/flavoring potential compared pesticide ridden ones often eaten today!
Growing Horseradish at Home
If you’re interested in growing your own horseradish, now is the perfect time to get started! This plant thrives similar weather environments tomatoes do– meaning whatever working having great haul tomatoes–horseradish grow them best too!!
One thing to keep in mind when growing horseradish is that it can be quite invasive…so plants need space away from garlic-loving neighbors …Careful picking spot going plenty room should be mandatory as well avoiding establishment anywhere veggies grown previously potatoes/ts peppers(don’t ask why)fearsome competition…
To grow horseradishes:
- Find an area of your garden that gets full sun.
- Dig a deep hole (around 24 inches) and mix in soil amendments such as compost or manure.
- Plant the root cutting horizontally so that the tip sits just below the soil surface.
- Water frequently during dry spells / seasons every few days until harvest once fall comes ’round again…
5.Typical leave undisturbed 1 -2 years best results then dig up sizes desired whole bunch pulling off leaves addition
6.Wash/peel/cut whichever way prepared…and voila!!! You’ve made yourself some delicious homemade delight!!!
Horseradishes provide aroma/zest both culinary medicinal properties allowing maximum enjoyment of wide range flavors…so go forth and add this versatile vegetable to salads, sandwiches/spreads, meats or experiment with other horseradish utilizing culinary taste sensations today!