Medusa with a kick!
Hello, there, fellow spicy food lovers!
What is it about horseradish?
It's not like any other root we know. It has a flavor all its own. Most know it as a culinary condiment, used sparingly. If you've ever added too much, your sinuses let you know! That's what makes this passionate growing plant so versatile. Spice gets your blood moving! As a food and medicine
The large, white root of the horseradish plant is in the same family as mustard and wasabi. It is used to make condiment, added to condiments such as mustard or mayonnaise to lend them an extra bite, and made into sauce, either with vinegar or creams.
My favorite use for horseradish is in Fire Cider.
History & Folklore
Horseradish is native to Russia and Hungary and has been grown throughout recorded history. Mentions of it are made in Greek mythology, Pliny's "Natural History," and Shakespeare.
What Does It Taste Like?
The volatile mustard-like oil in horseradish brings tears to the eyes and heat to the tongue. Isothiocyanate is the compound that gives off the heat when exposed by eating or crushing horseradish. Vinegar neutralizes the reaction and stabilizes the flavor. It should be added immediately to fresh grated horseradish to produce a milder taste.
After struggling to find some fresh root in past years ether at Farmers Markets, groceries, or local friend growers, I found some late in the season on a very limited run at my local Kroger. The following spring when it grew out of my compost from the butt of that root, I was delighted. Until the next season when it exploded.
Armoracia rusticana is a tenacious grower. Passionately does it spread its footprint across the garden, multiplying every year from root tips lost during excavation...because that's what digging this root is like.
More Things About Horseradish
This root helps to stimulate digestion and metabolism of proteins. If it is consumed in large amounts, it can cause digestive upset. It may be helpful for allergies, hay fever, and lung congestion, and acts as an expectorant. Plus, it makes one tasty addition to Fire Cider dressing.
Talking about kitchen witchin, there are lots of ways to include this beneficial respiratory plant in your diet.
Put your horseradish to use!
>>> Head to the Recipes <<<
I'd love to offer a Fire Cider making workshop online. Perhaps that will be an announcement coming soon. When you have horseradish root, ginger, onions, garlic, and hot peppers, it's up to you how to dress it up from there!
Keep up with me on Instagram and Facebook to know when the next classes are coming!
Cheers and wild herbs,
Sarah is a community herbalist, raising children, teaching children and adults the ways of herbalism and nature, and handcrafting herbal products for the community.