Saturday, October 20, 2012

Horseradish

Horseradish roots




The horseradish flower
--> Despite its clumsy name and sinus-clearing properties, Horseradish is a root well established on Wisconsin menus and in Wisconsin kitchens. The first time one tries horseradish is, in my opinion, unpleasant. The bitter taste and mild pain associated with the plant can be shocking. However, slowly but surely, you’ll find yourself eating a piece of beef or a fried cheese curd, and you’ll realize that this treat would be so much better with a pinch of this mysterious accompaniment. This slow process of beginning to enjoy horseradish can quickly spiral into a love affair, if left unchecked.

Horseradish flavored items are common on Wisconsin menus, often paired with steak or roast beef per the German tradition. It is common in mayonnaise based dipping sauces (ie “aioli” for those of us who won’t call mayonnaise what it is). One of my favorites is The Old Fashioned's "Tiger Blue" sauce: a mix of blue cheese and horseradish-perfect for the fried cheese curds mentioned above. There are also numerous horseradish flavored cheeses that balance the punch of horseradish with the creamy Wisconsin mild cheddar or Monterey jack--I'd recommend the horseradish cheddar made by Great Midwest

Interestingly, while most of the world’s horseradish is grown in the southern Midwest around the St. Louis region, the single largest horseradish farm is operated near Eau Claire, Wisconsin and owned by Silver Spring, a mustard and condiment company. 

In my own home, I discovered my family’s unrecognized but ever-present love of horseradish. See our range of horseradish products below, and our delicious dinner of steak and jalapeno/bacon infused greens perfectly enhanced with some hearty horseradish sauce.




Left: standard horseradish, mixed with vinegar, Center: horseradish infused mustard, Right: Horseradish sauce, creamy, smooth and spicy all at once.

I chose the creamy horseradish sauce for this plate--FYI, the serving size above was not enough for this horseradish lover.
 As winter settles slowly but determinedly on the Wisconsin landscape, one will be sure to find the warming horseradish, in many forms, on plates around the state.

Resources:

1. My parent’s house
2. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2003-10-01/Horseradish.aspx
3.http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4253036?uid=3739976&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101290512521
4. http://www.horseradish.org/hic.html

2 comments:

  1. I love the Tiger Blue at the Old Fashioned! Fried curds just don't taste the same without it anymore...

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  2. I definitely agree with you. Horseradish can practically be combined with any type of food. As long as you have a good imagination and a good set of cooking skills, you’ll be able to concoct numerous mouthwatering recipes that have horseradish in it.

    Alex Staff

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