Spanish Black Radish

Spanish Black Radish (raphanus sativus) has an interesting sooty looking exterior and a creamy white flesh.  Unlike summer radishes the black radish is grown as a winter crop.  The flavor of this interesting vegetable varies from mild, similar to a red radish to hot, almost like horseradish.  The texture is crisp but it is much tougher than other radishes.

Scientists tentatively locate the origin of Raphanus sativus in southeast Asia, as this is the only region where truly wild forms have been discovered.  It was commonly grown in the United States in the 1800’s but almost became non-existent up until the last few years.

You can cook these radishes much like you would a turnip.  Then can be sliced, chopped or shredded and added to soups, stews or stir-fries.  Eating them raw, slice and eat as a snack or serve with a dip along with other fresh vegetables.  If you’re going to eat this radish raw it is best to slice it very thin and place the slices in a bowl of water.  Refrigerate them for a few hours or even days to allow the flavor to mellow.

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