Radishes, edible root vegetables with large leaves grown in varieties all over the world, have rich nutritional values, can be eaten raw, used in salads, can be steamed and are a filling food for dieting persons. Crunchy when eaten raw, radishes have a flavor that ranges from slightly spicy to a bit sweet.


Other names: Red Globe and White Icicles., California Mammoth Whites
Translations: Redīsi, Ridikėliai, Ridichi, Rotkvice, Củ cải, Rzodkiewki, Radijs, मूली, Rabanetes, Редис, Ραπάνια, فجل, 무, Ředkvičky, Lobak, Mga labanos, 萝卜, Raves, Redkev, Reďkovky, Ravanelli, צנוניות, Rädisor, Ротквице, ラディッシュ, Radis, Radieschen, Radiser, Reddiker, Rábanos, Редис, Retiisit, Репички

Physical Description

Radishes are root vegetables that resemble beets or turnips in appearance and texture, but have a distinct flavor. It is the root of a plant classified in the mustard family.

Colors: Red and White, purple

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Tangy, mustardy, and spicy
Mouthfeel: Crisp, Crunchy
Food complements: Butter, Salt, Salad greens, Cream
Wine complements: White wine
Beverage complements: Beer, Sake
Substitutes: Daikon, Turnips

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, opctober, november, december
Peak: january, february, november, december
Choosing: Whether red or white, roots should be hard and solid, with a smooth, unblemished surface. Avoid soft or spongy radishes. Be sure to check bagged radishes for mold before purchasing.
Buying: Radishes are available year round at most grocery stores and in the summer months at farmer's markets.
Procuring: Radish is a cool-season, fast-maturing, easy-to-grow vegetable. Garden radishes can be grown wherever there is sun and moist, fertile soil, even on the smallest city lot. Early varieties usually grow best in the cool days of early spring, but some later-maturing varieties can be planted for summer use.

Preparation and Use

Small radishes can be served whole or chopped; while black and daikons are usually cut or grated.
The most common uses for radishes are as a garnish or as an ingredient in a green salad.

Cleaning: Scrub radishes and trim off the stem end and tip. You can peel the radishes or leave the skin intact.

Conserving and Storing

If radishes were purchased with the leaves attached, remove the tops unless they will be served the same day. Place radishes in plastic bags, if they are not already packaged, and store in the refrigerator. Most varieties will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Black radishes can be stored for months if they remain dry. Store them in perforated plastic bags and keep in the refrigerator.


The radish is native to Asia, where it spread to Japan. The daikon radish is a very popular in Asian cooking. In Europe, the radish became a staple vegetable much later. By the 16th century it was used in traditional medicine for kidney stones and facial blemishes.

History: Radishes were first cultivated thousands of years ago in China, then in Egypt and Greece. Radishes were so highly regarded in Greece that gold replicas were made. The radish did not make its way to England until approximately 1548. By 1629 they were being cultivated in Massachusetts.



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