Difference: Radish is not horseradish
Radish and horseradish have a few things in common: they are hot and sometimes bring tears to the corners of your eyes. Both are also extremely healthy. Some radish varieties and horseradish even look a little alike, ignoring their different sizes: both have white roots with herbaceous greens. Nevertheless, they are fundamentally different.
- Radish is a root vegetable, referred to as radish, which ends up on the table in Bavaria in particular. Here, the root is almost a cult – as a raw food side dish with a snack in the beer garden. But radish also cuts a fine figure as a side vegetable steamed in salted water.
- Nevertheless, it is not the Bavarians who are the world leaders in radish consumption. Rather, it is the Asians who make the average consumption in Germany of around 250 grams per capita per year look infinitesimally ridiculous. According to sources such as the Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture, consumption in Asia should be several kilos, for example around 30 kilos in Korea.
- Even if radish adorns almost every Asian dish – its origins lie around the Mediterranean. Egypt is hotly traded as the motherland of the radish. Apparently, it was also used early on in ancient Rome and ancient Greece.
- Since around the 13th century, radishes have made the leap across the Alps to Germany and are now spreading culinary delights not only in Bavaria.
- Radish is considered a healthy vegetable. So-called mustard oil glycosides, sulfur-containing aromatic substances, are crucial for the sharpness of the radish.
- Among other things, they are said to have a protective effect against cancer. Together with various bitter substances, they are also said to stimulate blood circulation in the mucous membranes – for this reason alone a digestive effect is already obvious.
- The nutritional values of radish will convince anyone who pays attention to nutrient density with few calories: Because radish consists of 94 percent water, the contained 2.4 g carbohydrates, 0.2 g fat, and 1.1 g protein, and 2.5 g dietary fiber are the best with only 15 kilocalories per 100 grams. At the same time, the vegetables provide plenty of vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B2, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and even iron. (Source: Grosse Gräfe and Unzer nutritional value calorie table).
- There are many different varieties of radish, which differ in size, shape, and color, but also in the degree of sharpness: the white, elongated root with smooth skin is classic, rounded or bulbous cones are less common, the black, pink or red skin to have.
- In this country, radishes thrive both in open fields and under glass. A clear advantage, because it is fresh on the vegetable shelves all year round, among other things.
- It is easy to prepare: wash, slice or slice. Peeling the roots is not necessary. To reduce the heat, radishes should be salted after they have been cut into small pieces.
Horseradish – a hot spice
Radish is a close relative to radish, but horseradish is not among its immediate relatives. The white, sometimes brown, wrinkled, carrot-sized root has been a popular ‘spicing agent’ in Central Europe since the Middle Ages, not only for seasoning but also as a remedy. In July 2020, horseradish was even named medicinal plant of the year 2021 by the Theophrastus naturopathic association.
- Horseradish also has a middle name in southern Germany, namely horseradish. However, it is popular with everyone and is used as a seasoning ingredient in many a kitchen. Grated and seasoned horseradish pastes are known, which are often mixed with cream to buffer the strong heat.
- The aromatic substances in horseradish are a lot sharper and sometimes more stinging than those in radish, although these are also substances that are counted among the mustard oil glycosides. Horseradish is predestined as a sharp contrast to hearty roast dishes, which are also served with a sweet note, such as cranberries.
- Unlike radish, fresh horseradish is a typical winter companion. Because in this country it is harvested in the months from October to January. It can be stored cool and dark, buried in the ground, or wrapped in cloth for many weeks.
- Because horseradish is only consumed in small amounts due to its heat, its nutritional values are of less interest in principle. The content is quite comparable to that of radish. Early seafarers considered the roots to be a saving grace of vitamin C against scurvy. Above all, horseradish is healthy because of its mustard oil glycoside content.
- According to the naturopathic association Theophrastus, scientific studies have shown that horseradish ingredients have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, you should be careful: the mustard oils could possibly cause heartburn or the like.