HorseradishHorseradish is a hardy plant belonging to the Brassicaceae family, also called the mustard family. It is a perennial plant well known for its spicy fleshy root which is often used to prepare a condiment or table relish. The plant is native to the Mediterranean regions but nowadays is cultivated in almost are zones of the temperate climate. Due to its excessive occurrence, it was proclaimed an invasive and troublesome weed in many places, especially those characterized by moist and cool weather.
Horseradish is considered a healing plant especially in traditional medicine and has a vast culinary use. It is often used as a substitute for wasabi in Japanese cuisine. The plant is characterized by its large, glossy leaves which are growing straight from the large, white root. It produces small white petals that consist of four petals. The flowers are borne in axillary or terminal racemes. The flowers turn into small oblong fruits also known as cliques and are slightly tipped by a short persistent style.
The plant is propagated early in spring by being placed in the soil at a single angle with the top part covered 1-2 cm deep. Usually, pieces no larger than a pencil size are used by cultivators. The roots are rubbed off to minimize their branching and crooked formation. They are harvested after a single growing season. The harvested roots are then trimmed, carefully washed, and prepared for sale.
The largest global production of horseradish takes place in the Netherlands. It is also the world’s top exporter of this plant. The Netherlands is followed by Italy, China, Spain, Mexico, and the United States. It is a very common aromatic root vegetable that has vast culinary uses. It has many health benefits. Horseradish helps to reduce inflammation, supports cell damage fight by neutralizing free radicals, and improves the respiratory system. Horseradish is an excellent source of various vitamins and vitamins. It contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, and folates. It is also a rich source of vitamin C.