Front-page News… sort of
The Palm Beach Post April 7, 2013, Sunday Business Section noted that Palm Beach County… Belle Glade, in particular… is the “Radish Capital of the country for seven months of the year”.
Glades farms produce 15 million pounds of red radishes each year, but I am surprised at how many people I am acquainted with who don’t know what a radish is and/or have never tasted one. The closest they have come is horseradish in mustard or cocktail sauce, and those are hot, white, long radishes… not the red round ones that are so-o-o-o good. There are many varieties, but the red is the most recognized.
What the heck is a radish?
You’ve probably seen small red orbs in plastic bags at the grocery store. However, you have never tasted one, and you aren’t sure you want to. Boy, are you missing something special!
For those of us who grew up with gardens, they are a summer staple for adding crunch and flavor to salads and are great eaten right from the garden.
Radishes are really good for first time gardeners or those with impatient children who want to see green stuff ‘right now’. Radishes will sprout in as little as three days, and they are ready to eat in a month.
The Greens, too?
All parts of the radish are edible. Although, the greens can be prepared the way many other greens are, I’ve never eaten radish greens myself.
Fresh radishes are crispy and have a fresh peppery flavor. They are pretty to look at, as well… cherry red on the outside and bright white on the inside. I pull them, give them a squirt with the hose and eat them right from the garden.
I’d say that horseradish is probably the next in line… maybe not for knowing what they look like, but recognizing the taste in everything from Prepared Horseradish in a jar and mustard to shrimp cocktail sauce.
My grandmother, Christina Hoffman, grew horseradish every few years.
She would grind it and process it to have for the next couple of years. If you think horseradish has a strong taste, you should smell it when it is very fresh and being ground up. It will make your eyes water at 50 paces.
Grandma lived next to a lumber yard that had trucks going in and out all day in the alley between the two properties. There was no A/C in cars and trucks back in the 1950s, so in the summer, the windows were rolled down. On the days Grandma was grinding the horseradish, eyes all over the neighborhood burned and watered. The truck drivers were no exception. They’d roll up their windows as soon as they drove into the alley.
The Usual, Please.
I don’t know how much the radishes in my garden add to the the 15 million pounds of radishes in Palm Beach County… 0.000001 percent?… but I gladly participate.
Radishes add a crispy, ‘get-your-attention’ taste to salads, but they are good munching straight from the garden, as well.