Horseradish and Health

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What's wasabi and how is it different from horseradish?
A. Wasabi Horseradish
  Green root White root
  Processed in tubes Processed in jars
  More expensive Easy to grow
  Not as much heat as horseradish Fast growing
  Most grown in Japan and exported to U.S  
  Grows in only extremely controlled conditions  
  Grows slowly  
Q. How do I keep horseradish hot?
A.
  To keep prepared horseradish at its flavorful best, store it in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator or freezer. It will keep its quality for approximately four to six months in the refrigerator and longer in the freezer.
Q. How do I prepare horseradish?
A.
  Grind prepared horseradish in a well-ventilated room. The fumes from grinding are very potent. Using a blender or processor for grinding makes home preparation less tearful. To grate your own horseradish in a blender, wash and peel the roots and dice it into small cubes. Place the cubes in a blender jar. Process no more than half a container at a time. Add a small amount of cold water. Start with enough water to completely cover the blades of the blender. Add several crushed ice cubes. Put the cover on the blender. When the root reaches its desired consistency, add white vinegar. Use 2 or 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each cup of grated horseradish. If desired, lemon juice can be substituted for the white vinegar.
The time at which you add the vinegar is important. Vinegar stops the enzymatic action in the ground product and stabilizes the degree of hotness. Place the mixture in small glass jars and store in the refrigerator.
(This method is used by several horseradish.org readers and is not guaranteed. Methods of preparing horseradish differ and you may want to try different methods until you find one that works best for you or simply go to your local market and purchase commercially prepared horseradish--it's easy and delicious!)
Q. How do I grow horseradish?
A.
According to an online gardener's network, you should plant horseradish roots as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Plant the roots up to six inches deep and one foot apart. If you are planting multiple rows, give them two to three feet between the rows. Horseradish will tolerate almost any soil. A slightly acidic soil is preferred. Horseradish roots are known to spread and multiply easily. Keep the roots weeded early in their life and supply ample water in dry periods. Add mulch for nutrients and to retain moisture. Roots are hardy and do not normally have any insect, pest or disease problems. When planted in early spring, horseradish can be harvested in the fall. Some gardeners leave horseradish in the ground, only pulling what they need when they need it. During the process of pulling roots, thin them out if they are crowded. Horseradish is a perennial. (Of course these directions depend on your gardening zone. For specific questions, contact your local county extension agent.)
Q. How did horseradish get its name?
A.
  Horseradish is believed to have originated in Central Europe, the area also linked to the most widely held theory of how horseradish was named. In German, it’s called "meerrettich" (sea radish) because it grows by the sea. Many believe the English mispronounced the German word "meer" and began calling it "mareradish." Eventually it became known as horseradish. The word "horse" (as applied in "horseradish") is believed to denote large size and coarseness. "Radish" comes from the Latin radix meaning root.