Mustard & Horseradish

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The use of horseradish in history

Horseradish has been known to humans for about 2,000 years. Cato the Elder dedicated himself to horseradish as a useful plant in the 2nd century BC. Slavic peoples were responsible for the spread of horseradish from Eastern and Southern Europe to Central Europe. Horseradish has probably been cultivated in Germany since the Middle Ages. For a long time, horseradish was used as a medicinal plant before it was finally used in the kitchen. In the Middle Ages, for example, the root vegetable was used to treat poisonings by promoting vomiting through the consumption of horseradish. Other symptoms that horseradish was taken for included scurvy, intermittent fever, and dropsy. Even today, horseradish is still used as a remedy. In the 1950s, the antimicrobial effect of horseradish was discovered. Consequently, the total oil can be extremely effective in bacteriostatic activity. It is mainly the mustard oils that have a inhibitory effect on bacteria and viruses. If you want to strengthen your immune system and be protected against colds in the cold season, regular consumption of fresh horseradish or horseradish preparations is highly recommended. Horseradish also stimulates blood circulation and relieves cough. The detoxifying effect of horseradish oil in cases of streptococcal and/or staphylococcal infections is also extremely positive. Finally, the fungistatic effect of the oil should be mentioned.

Cultivation and harvest of horseradish

Horseradish cultivation takes place in early spring - preferably in deep soil; the location should also be as sunny as possible. Since horseradish does not produce seeds, root cuttings (fechser) must be planted. If properly planted, almost every root cutting sprouts and is a guarantee for the desired horseradish harvest. Horseradish can be harvested from September to April. Conveniently, this eliminates the need to store horseradish. However, if you are concerned about being unable to harvest horseradish due to frost in winter, you can store the roots in the cellar. For this purpose, a place in the cellar is needed that has temperatures between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius. The humidity should be relatively high, and the horseradish should be covered with sand. In fact, the (absolutely unwashed) roots can be stored in this way for months without any loss of quality. Horseradish should be harvested as soon as the leaves die off - this signals the end of root growth. The roots are easily removed, especially if a potato harvester is used: This reaches about 40 centimeters deep and therefore also reaches very long roots.

Horseradish thrives particularly well in soils that are easily penetrable by roots, which is why it is mainly cultivated in Bavaria and Baden in Germany. The soils there often contain loess and (clayey) sand. Regular fertilization with manure is quite common. However, care should be taken to leave enough time between fertilization and planting of horseradish. Organic fertilization is generally preferred to inorganic fertilization, as horseradish is sensitive to high salt content. It was already known in the 16th century that horseradish self-wilds. Among others, the German physician Leonhart Fuchs pointed this out in his herbal book published in 1543. In Bavaria, horseradish occurs in wild form at heights of up to 1,847 meters.

Horseradish in the kitchen

If you live in southern Germany, horseradish is probably quite familiar to you as a spice. However, in areas where horseradish is rarely cultivated, it is hardly used. As long as the horseradish root is in its unprocessed state, it is odorless. As soon as you cut or grate it, it spreads its pungent odor, which irritates the mucous membranes: teary eyes and a runny nose are the result. For a long time, horseradish and mustard were the only sharp spices used in Germany. This changed only in the 17th century, when pepper also became available in Europe.

If you want to cook with horseradish, but do not have fresh horseradish available, then you have come to the right shop, as you will find horseradish of various brands as well as in tubes and jars. If you need creamed horseradish to not only season but also decorate slices of roast or smoked fish, for example, Thomy sharp gourmet creamed horseradish in a tube is recommended. For larger quantities of creamed horseradish, a product available in a jar should be chosen - for example, Kühne creamed horseradish or Koch's creamed horseradish. Creamed horseradish is generally much milder than products labeled horseradish or table horseradish. Creamed horseradish usually contains grated horseradish, sugar and vinegar, vegetable oil, and at least ten percent whipped cream. Ready-to-use horseradish in a jar or tube allows for a more individual use as a spice or as a sauce base - after all, cream is not always needed as an additional ingredient.

Seasoning with horseradish

Especially if you appreciate the sharpness of horseradish, you should definitely opt for one of our products without the addition of cream. How about, for example, replacing the mustard that is usually served with meatballs with horseradish? Although ready-to-use horseradish does not reach the sharpness of freshly grated horseradish, it corresponds to the sharpness of common varieties of medium-hot mustard. You can make a tasty barbecue sauce from salad cream, horseradish, ketchup, mustard, chopped onions, and parsley, which goes well with grilled meat, French fries, and vegetables. Take 150 milliliters of salad cream and add two to three tablespoons of horseradish and ketchup each. The sauce is given additional seasoning by adding a teaspoon of mustard, an onion, and about a tablespoon of parsley.

For a horseradish sauce, you will need 20 grams of butter and flour each, 1/8 liter of milk, some lemon juice, salt and sugar, 30 grams of horseradish, 1/8 liter of vegetable broth, and 2-3 tablespoons of cream. First, prepare a roux and add the milk while stirring constantly. After stirring in the horseradish mixed with a little lemon juice, the vegetable broth can be added. Finally, season with salt, sugar, and cream. Such a horseradish sauce not only goes well with boiled beef, but also with fish dishes. In particular, salmon can be perfectly complemented by a horseradish sauce.