Radish is an edible root vegetable from the Brassicaceae family which was domesticated in Europe in pre Roman times. A wonderful vegetable grown and consumed throughout the world! There are numerous varieties of radishes vary in sizes and color.
Radish is derived from the Latin word Radix which means root. Records states that wild forms of radish and its counterparts the mustards and turnip are found over west Asia and Europe and domesticated somewhere in that area. Radish grow best in full sun and light and sandy loams. They are in season from April to June and October to January in most parts of North America, Europe and Japan and all year around depending on the variety grown. Summer radishes mature rapidly, with many varieties germinating in 3–7 days, and reaching maturity in three to four weeks.
Radish is broadly classified into four main types (summer, fall, winter, and spring) and a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, such as red, pink, white, gray-black or yellow radishes, with round or elongated roots that can grow longer than a parsnip. There are red globe radish, black radish, daikon radish, white icicle radish, and California mammoth white radish.
European radishes or spring radishes if they’re planted in cooler weather, also known as summer radishes, are generally small and have a relatively short 3–4 week cultivation time. There is the black Spanish or black Spanish round that is found in both round and elongated forms and is also known by the French name Gros Noir d’Hiver. This is a common variety in England and France since early 19th century. It has a rough black skin with hot-flavored white flesh, is round or irregularly pear shaped, and grows to around 10 cm (4 in) in diameter.
A popular variety of radish namely the Diakon is from Asia. While the Japanese name daikon has been adopted in English, it is also sometimes called the Japanese radish, Chinese radish, Mooli or Oriental radish (in India and South Asia). Daikon commonly has elongated white roots, although many varieties of daikon exist. One well known variety is April Cross, with smooth white roots. The Sakurajima daikon is a hot-flavored variety which is typically grown to around 10 kg (22 lb), but which can grow to 30 kg (66 lb) when left in the ground.
The entire plant of radish is edible most commonly is the napiform taproot. The top leaf vegetable of radish is also edible and added to vegetable to make a delicious curry. They are slightly bitter to taste but has lots of nutrients in it. The bulb of the radish is usually eaten raw. The raw flesh has a crisp texture and a pungent, peppery flavor, caused by glucosinolates and the enzyme myrosinase which combine when chewed to form allyl isothiocyanates, also present in mustard, horseradish, and wasabi.
Radish is used in salads, as well as in many European dishes. Radish is widely used in north Indian cuisine especially they use in making the mooli ka paratha (Indian bread stuffed with grated radish and spices) or Mooli bhajji. Radish is also added to yoghurt (mooli ka raita) and eaten. Its refreshing and cooling. Radishes can be added to vegetable juice to spice up the flavor a little. In this form, they can help clear your sinus cavities and soothe your sore throat. The vitamin C in radishes is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and has been shown to have a positive effect on asthma symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Potassium can help lower your risk of kidney stones and strokes, and radishes along a diet high in other fruits and vegetables can significantly lower your risk of multiple sclerosis. The earthy spicy flavor of radish unlike any vegetable brings out amazing flavors and taste to the dish.
Radishes and radish leaves are an excellent source of vitamin C. Globe radishes are a very good source of the trace mineral molybdenum and a good source of folic acid and potassium. Daikons are a very good source of copper and potassium. The kaiware daikon radish sprout is a potent source of antioxidants. Radish leaves are a good source of calcium. Radish is also rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper and calcium. One cup of sliced red radish bulbs gives approx 20 calories largely from carbohydrates.
The nutritional value of 100 g of raw radish root only is:
Energy: 66 Kj (16 kcal)
Carbohydrates: 3.40 g
Sugars: 1.86 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Fat: 0.10 g
Protein: 0.68 g
Vitamin C: 14.8 G
Calcium: 25 mg