The horseradish is a root riddle wrapped in a mysterious vegetable wrapped inside an enigmatic name. All people usually know about the horseradish is that it’s hot, white and it makes a great cocktail sauce!
So we came up with some interesting and fun facts you didn’t know about horseradish to help educate you for the next time you go to dollop some on top of your raw oysters!
21 Fun Facts About Horseradish
- The leaves and roots of a horseradish were used for medicinal purposes during medieval times.
- Approximately 24 million pounds of horseradish roots are processed every year to make 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish each year in the United States.
- July is National Horseradish Month every year!
- Horseradish is considered the cousin to broccoli and cauliflower, which are in the same plant family.
- Grated horseradish can tarnish silver, so don’t serve it in anything fancy!
- Isothiocyanate is the compound in grated horseradish that creates the heat that affects your sinuses.
- The city of Collinsville hosts the International Horseradish Festival in the first weekend in June every year in America. The city is in Southern Illinois, but it’s really about 10 miles northeast of St. Louis. It also has the Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower, which is considered the world’s largest ketchup bottle.
- During the Jewish celebration of Passover, horseradish is commonly used as one of the five “bitter herbs.”
- Raw horseradish isn’t that spicy, but when it’s grated or sliced, the root cells are crushed, releasing the spicy oil inside.
- “Horseradish” is an English word derived from the term “horse,” which refers to “coarse.” And “radish” is from the Latin term for root.
- Eau Claire, Wis., and Tulelake, Calif., and Collinsville have all made claim to being the horseradish capital of the world!
- Nicknames for horseradish through the years include, “redcole” and “stingnose.”
- Horseradish peroxidase is an enzyme found in horseradish root that is used in biochemical research.
- “Prepared horseradish” is the raw grated root, mixed with salt and vinegar, to stabilize the heat.
- Horseradish isn’t a type of radish at all! It’s in the same mustard family of plants, though.
- One tablespoon of prepared horseradish has just seven calories.
- Ironically, horseradish is toxic to horses!
- A jar of prepared horseradish will keep fresh for 4-6 months in your refrigerator, and it’ll keep even longer in the freezer.
- The sooner vinegar is introduced to fresh grated horseradish, the milder it tastes.
- The very first written reference to horseradish was in 1597, in botanist John Gerarde’s Generall Historie of Plantes, also known as Herbal.
- The International Horseradish Festival names a new Little Miss Horseradish every summer, choosing between girls ages 4-6 years old, living in nearby counties.
That list of 21 facts you didn’t know about horseradish should help you win a trivia contest or two!