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About Horseradish root

Wikipedia Article About Horseradish on Wikipedia

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia) is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard and cabbages. The plant is probably native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, but is popular around the world today. It grows up to 1.5 metres (five feet) tall and is mainly cultivated for its large white, tapering root, although the leaves are also edible.

Its root is used as a vegetable or ground in a condiment called prepared horseradish, and has at times been used as the bitter herbs in the Passover meal in some Jewish communities. Horseradish, sometimes blended with cream and called horseradish sauce, is often served with roast or boiled beef or sausages, as well as smoked fish. Horseradish is also used in some prepared mustards. Also, much of what is styled wasabi is actually common horseradish dyed green.

The horseradish root itself has hardly any aroma. When cut or grated, however, enzymes from the damaged plant cells break down sinigrin (a glucosilinate) to produce allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), which irritates the sinuses and eyes. Once grated, if not used immediately or mixed in vinegar, the root darkens and loses its pungency and becomes unpleasantly bitter when exposed to air and heat.

Over two thirds of the world's horseradish is said to be grown in a small region around Collinsville, Illinois in the US, the self-styled "Horseradish Capital of the World", whence it is even exported overseas as a gourmet version of the product to places more renowned for consumption of the root. The biggest US production for domestic supply comes from Silver Springs in Eau Claire,Wisconsin.

It has been speculated that the word is a partial translation of its German name Meerrettich. The element Meer (meaning 'ocean, sea', although it could be derived from the similar sounding Mähren, the German word for Moravia, an area where the vegetable is cultivated and used extensively) is pronounced like the English word mare, which might have been reinterpreted as horseradish. On the other hand, many English plant names have "horse" as an element denoting strong or coarse, so the etymology of the English word (which is attested in print from at least 1597) is uncertain.

Horseradish contains potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, as well as volatile oils, such as mustard oil, which is antibiotic. Fresh, the plant contains 177,9 mg/100 g of vitamin C.

The enzyme horseradish peroxidase, found in the plant, is used extensively in molecular biology in antibody amplification and detection, among other things. For example, "In recent years the technique of marking neurons with the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP) has become a major tool. In its brief history, this method has probably been used by more neurobiologists than have used the Golgi stain since its discovery in 1870."[1]

Production of Horseradish root

Buying Horseradish root

Horseradish root Variations

Preparing Horseradish root

With an ever-increasing speed of life, cooking times are now more important than ever. Cooking Horseradish root is fast and easy, thus recommending this vegetable as a good first choice for many meals. When cooking this vegetable you should try and slice it up, so that you diminish cooking time even further. Most dishes using Horseradish root require you to prepare it before starting the dish, but only call for cooking it for a short time. Sine this vegetable cooks so quickly, it’s a good idea to supervise it closely so that it doesn’t get overcooked.

Cooking Horseradish root

Although Horseradish root is one of the most popular vegetables used in different dishes, you can get it for a very reasonable price. If you are cooking for a large family, you will want to purchase larger quantities of Horseradish root and store them properly. The cost of this vegetable varies depending on many different factors, such as marketplace location, local competition, type of Horseradish root that you want to purchase and so on. An older Horseradish root will most likely cost less than a freshly picked one, but this also depends on where you buy it from, as some stores might not differentiate their vegetables like this.

Horseradish root is often one of the main ingredients used in many vegetable dishes. Traditional cooking recipes from all over the world have a special place devoted for just Horseradish root. From soups, appetizers and delicious salads, this vegetable is also used in stews and as a side. Cooking Horseradish root is easy and rewarding, since this vegetable has a high nutritional value. In most cases, eating this vegetable raw or cooking it very lightly is the best way to preserve the enzymes and vitamins contained within. Micro-waving is also quite popular, but studies have shown that a large proportion of the vitamins are lost during this process. Since Horseradish root is quick to cook and requires very little preparation, many chefs favor it as one of the main vegetables of any dish they create.

There are so many ways in which you can use Horseradish root. Cook it in soups, chop it up and toss it in salads or use it as a side dish for different meat dishes. The list of Horseradish root recipes is almost endless, mainly because this is a very popular vegetable in many countries and chefs are always coming up with innovative ways of preparing Horseradish root. Many vegetarian menus place Horseradish root within the top ten plants, but this nutritious vegetable is also used in many meat-based dishes.

Stir-frying Horseradish root

Although most expert chefs recommend not to stir-fry Horseradish root, there are still several dishes in which this cooking method produces extremely tasty results. While this is not the healthiest method of preparing Horseradish root you can still preserve most of its nutrients by keeping cooking time short. A few minutes of stir-frying may do the trick and you will get a good balance between a tastier fried taste and a reasonable level of intact nutrients.

Steaming Horseradish root

Steaming is one of the best methods of preparing vegetables, and Horseradish root makes no exception. Steaming preserves about 90% of the essential nutrients found in this plant, when compared to frying or microwaving, which diminish the plant’s nutritional value. Although many believe that steamed Horseradish root does not offer such a full palette of flavors and does not have the rich taste of the fried versions, the truth is that a well cooked dish and a good selection of herbs and spices can make such an argument futile. Steamed Horseradish root is found in a large variety of dishes.

Boiling Horseradish root

Boiling Horseradish root, and other vegetables, in general, diminishes some of the levels of healthy compounds contained within. While some vegetables, like potatoes, require prolonged boiling time, Horseradish root should only be boiled for a few minutes, depending on its size. Slicing up the Horseradish root plant further reduces boiling time, thus keeping more of the vitamins and enzymes intact. Even when used in soups or stews, Horseradish root can still retain most of its nutritious elements if you add it in later, after slow-cooking vegetables are almost ready.

Pan-Frying Horseradish root

Pan frying Horseradish root is not as common as other cooking methods used for this vegetable. Many nutritionists advise against frying this vegetable, as this greatly reduces the amounts of vitamins and minerals it contains. However, light pan-frying may give the Horseradish root the taste you are looking for, while maintaining its nutritional values high. In general, a vegetable like Horseradish root should not take more than 3-5 minutes to pan fry on medium intensity fire.

Roasting Horseradish root

Roasting Horseradish root is quite common in some regions of the world, while in other cuisines this practice is not even considered by the chefs. Similar to frying, roasting produces a more favorable dish, with the cost that some of the vitamins and enzymes found in the plant are lost.

Stewing Horseradish root

Horseradish root is often used in stews and there are several dishes in which this cooking method produces extremely tasty results. While this is not the healthiest method of preparing Horseradish root you can still preserve most of its nutrients by keeping stewing time short. A few minutes of cooking will be enough in most cases, depending on the size of the Horseradish root and you will get a good balance between a tastier taste and a reasonable level of intact nutrients. Stewed Horseradish root is at a middle point, between fried and steamed Horseradish root, as far as nutritional values are concerned. The trade off between a full cooked taste and high positive compound levels is quite reasonable, and stewed Horseradish root will often be the number one choice for many traditional and modern meals.

Storing Horseradish root

Horseradish root Recipes

Horseradish root Soup Recipes

Together with different other vegetables, Horseradish root is one of the main ingredients of several tasty soups that are enjoyed all over the world. Since Horseradish root takes a short time to cook, it’s a favorite vegetable ingredient for many cooks and professional chefs. In many recipes you will notice that the Horseradish root is only added towards the end of the preparation time – this is because it cooks rapidly and adding it late enables it to keep most of its nutritious elements. Often combined with chopped and minced veggies, Horseradish root may be used in different shapes as part of a soup.

Horseradish root Salad Recipes

If there is a modern favorite vegetable that you can use in salads it has to be Horseradish root. This tasty and highly nutritious plant offers a perfect blend of taste, density and shape for any salad. Use it in strictly vegetarian dishes and salads or mix it up with fish or different dressings and sauces for an unforgettable taste.

Horseradish root Side Dish Recipes

Although Horseradish root has all the main qualities to become the “attraction” of the table, it is often used as a side dish. Many popular side dish recipes include Horseradish root on their ingredient list, as this vegetable offers the right mix of taste and visual elements. Meat is often accompanied by Horseradish root, as this creates and excellent balance from many point of view. From a nutritional point of view, Horseradish root is a perfect complementary element for all sorts of meat, as it offers vitamins and soluble fibers. Using Horseradish root in side dish recipes is also recommended because it aids digestion and makes even a heavier meal feel light.

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