by Isabella Sisseros
The origin of the radish is quite vague, but it’s speculated that the notorious bulbous red root we know today, as well as the varieties that are less common to us, has its beginnings spread across the ancient worlds of Greece, Egypt and China.
Radish skin color ranges from white, pink, red, and purple to green to black, but all contain white flesh. The size of a radish can also range. Some radish have been known to be anywhere from one inch in diameter or longer for round roots, to three inches or more for long slender roots. Some daikon radishes can even grow as long as a foot or more in length.
Today, most of us recognize the iconic small circular variety, with its deep red skin, white flesh and spicy bite. Though this may be the most common to us, other regions of the world, such as China and Spain, enjoy other varieties. Spaniards favor the black radish, where daikon radishes are more commonly eaten in China.
Apart from the radish’s aesthetic appeal, crunchy texture and fresh spicy flavor, they provide great nutritional benefits. The radish is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin C, which has anti-oxidant properties as well as vitamin B6. Other essential nutrients include: fiber, folate, potassium, calcium and magnesium, which help keep our bodies well supported and strong.
The Fort Collins Food Cooperative carries multiple types of radishes throughout the growing season. Look for local red radishes from farms such as Native Hill, or beautiful purple, white and pink radish bundles from Ol’ Dern, as well as, organic black radish and daikon to incorporate a more ethnic feel to your cuisine.
Try these Radical Radish recipes:
Try radishes grated fresh over salads or slice thinly and add to the top of sandwiches.
Eat them raw or pickled for a light snack.
Use daikon radishes in homemade kimchi.
Cut black radishes into match sticks and fry to make radish fries.
Slice or chop radishes to steam, sauté or grill then spice with rosemary, pepper and garlic for a side dish.
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Isabella Sisneros is a Fort Collins Food Cooperative employee who holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. She has spent the past six years studying food systems and has acquired knowledgeable experience in local sustainable agriculture, food justice and community nutrition outreach.