Radish
Overview
 
The radish is an edible
Eating
Eating is the ingestion of food to provide for all organisms their nutritional needs, particularly for energy and growth. Animals and other heterotrophs must eat in order to survive: carnivores eat other animals, herbivores eat plants, omnivores consume a mixture of both plant and animal matter,...

 root vegetable
Root vegetable
Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Here "root" means any underground part of a plant.Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of...

 of the Brassicaceae
Brassicaceae
Brassicaceae, a medium sized and economically important family of flowering plants , are informally known as the mustards, mustard flowers, the crucifers or the cabbage family....

 family that was domesticated in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, in pre-Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times. They are grown and consumed throughout the world. Radishes have numerous varieties, varying in size, color and duration of required cultivation time. There are some radishes that are grown for their seeds; oilseed radishes are grown, as the name implies, for oil production.
The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants.
Encyclopedia
The radish is an edible
Eating
Eating is the ingestion of food to provide for all organisms their nutritional needs, particularly for energy and growth. Animals and other heterotrophs must eat in order to survive: carnivores eat other animals, herbivores eat plants, omnivores consume a mixture of both plant and animal matter,...

 root vegetable
Root vegetable
Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Here "root" means any underground part of a plant.Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of...

 of the Brassicaceae
Brassicaceae
Brassicaceae, a medium sized and economically important family of flowering plants , are informally known as the mustards, mustard flowers, the crucifers or the cabbage family....

 family that was domesticated in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, in pre-Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times. They are grown and consumed throughout the world. Radishes have numerous varieties, varying in size, color and duration of required cultivation time. There are some radishes that are grown for their seeds; oilseed radishes are grown, as the name implies, for oil production.

History

The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants. Raphanistrum from the same Greek root is an old name once used for this genus. The common name "radish" is derived from Latin (Radix = root).

Although the radish was a well-established crop in Hellenistic and Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times, which leads to the assumption that it was brought into cultivation at an earlier time, Zohary and Hopf note that "there are almost no archeological records available" to help determine its earlier history and domestication. Wild forms of the radish and its relatives the mustards
Mustard plant
Mustards are several plant species in the genera Brassica and Sinapis whose small mustard seeds are used as a spice and, by grinding and mixing them with water, vinegar or other liquids, are turned into the condiment known as mustard or prepared mustard...

 and turnip
Turnip
The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock...

 can be found over west Asia and Europe, suggesting that their domestication took place somewhere in that area. However Zohary and Hopf conclude, "Suggestions as to the origins of these plants are necessarily based on linguistic considerations."

Cultivation

Radishes grow best in full sun and light, sandy loams with pH
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

 6.5–7.0. They are in season from April to June and from October to January in most parts of North America; in Europe and Japan they are available year-round due to the plurality of varieties grown.

Summer radishes mature rapidly, with many varieties germinating in 3–7 days, and reaching maturity in three to four weeks. Harvesting periods can be extended through repeated plantings, spaced a week or two apart.

As with other root crops, tilling the soil helps the roots grow. However, radishes are used in no-till farming to help reverse compaction.

Most soil types will work, though sandy loams are particularly good for winter and spring crops, while soils that form a hard crust can impair growth. The depth at which seeds are planted affects the size of the root, from 1 cm (0.393700787401575 in) deep recommended for small radishes to 4 cm (1.6 in) for large radishes.

Radishes are a common garden crop in the U.S., and the fast harvest cycle makes them a popular choice for children's gardens.

Varieties

Broadly speaking, radishes can be categorized 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
Parsnip
The parsnip is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler than most carrots and have a sweeter taste, especially when cooked. The buttery, slightly spicy, sweet flavor of cooked mature parsnips is reminiscent of butterscotch, honey, and subtle cardamom...

. There are red globe radish, black radish, daikon radish, white icicle radish, and California mammoth white radish.

Spring or summer radishes

Sometimes referred to as European radishes or spring radishes if they're planted in cooler weather, summer radishes are generally small and have a relatively short 3–4 week cultivation time.
  • The April Cross is a giant white radish hybrid that bolts very slowly.
  • Bunny Tail is an heirloom variety from Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    , where it is known as 'Rosso Tondo A Piccola Punta Bianca'. It is slightly oblong, mostly red, with a white tip.
  • Cherry Belle is a bright red-skinned round variety with a white interior. It is familiar in North American supermarkets.
  • Champion is round and red-skinned like the Cherry Belle, but with slightly larger roots, up to about 5 cm (2 in), and a milder flavor.
  • Red King has a mild flavor, with good resistance to club root, a problem that can arise from poor drainage.
  • Sicily Giant is a large heirloom variety from Sicily
    Sicily
    Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

    . It can reach up to two inches in diameter.
  • Snow Belle is an all-white variety of radish, similar in shape to the Cherry Belle.
  • White Icicle or just Icicle is a white carrot-shaped variety, around 10–12 cm (3.9–4.7 ) long, dating back to the 16th century. It slices easily, and has better than average resistance to pithiness.
  • French Breakfast is an elongated red-skinned radish with a white splash at the root end. It is typically slightly milder than other summer varieties, but is among the quickest to turn pithy.
  • Plum Purple a purple-fuchsia
    Fuchsia
    Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants that consists mostly of shrubs or small trees. The first, Fuchsia triphylla, was discovered on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in 1703 by the French Minim monk and botanist, Charles Plumier...

     radish that tends to stay crisp longer than average.
  • Gala and Roodbol are two varieties popular in the Netherlands in a breakfast dish, thinly sliced on buttered bread.
  • Easter Egg is not an actual variety, but a mix of varieties with different skin colors, typically including white, pink, red, and purple radishes. Sold in markets or seed packets under the name, the seed mixes can extend harvesting duration from a single planting, as different varieties may mature at different times.

Winter varieties

Black Spanish or Black Spanish Round occur in both round and elongated forms, and are sometimes simply called the black radish or known by the French name Gros Noir d'Hiver. It dates in Europe to 1548, and was a common garden variety in England and France during the 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.

Daikon
Daikon
Daikon , Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, also called White Radish, Japanese radish, Oriental radish, Chinese radish, lo bok and Mooli , is a mild flavoured, very large, white East Asian radish...

 refers to a wide variety of winter radishes from Asia. While the Japanese name daikon has been adopted in English, it is also sometimes called the Japanese radish, Chinese radish, Oriental radish or mooli (in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

). Daikon commonly have elongated white roots, although many varieties of daikon exist. One well known variety is April Cross, with smooth white roots. The New York Times describes Masato Red and Masato Green varieties as extremely long, well suited for fall planting and winter storage. The Sakurajima daikon
Sakurajima daikon
is one of the local products of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It is the biggest daikon variety in the world and the Guinness Book of Records has confirmed that. Its regular weight is about 6 kilograms although big ones can be as much as . It grows as large as in diameter. It is grown on Sakurajima...

 is a hot-flavored variety which is typically grown to around 10 kg (22 lb), but which can grow to 30 kg (66.1 lb) when left in the ground.

Seed pod varieties

The seeds of radishes grow in silique
Silique
A silique or siliqua is a fruit of 2 fused carpels with the length being more than three times the width. The outer walls of the ovary usually separate when ripe, leaving a persistent partition...

s (widely referred to as "pods"), following flowering that happens when left to grow past their normal harvesting period. The seeds are edible, and are sometimes used as a crunchy, spicy addition to salads. Some varieties are grown specifically for their seeds or seed pods, rather than their roots. The Rat-tailed radish, an old European variety thought to have come from East Asia centuries ago, has long, thin, curly pods which can exceed 20 cm (8 in) in length. In the 17th century, the pods were often pickled and served with meat. The München Bier variety supplies spicy seeds that are sometimes served raw as an accompaniment to beer in Germany.

Nutritional value

Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid
Ascorbic acid
Ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties. It is a white solid, but impure samples can appear yellowish. It dissolves well in water to give mildly acidic solutions. Ascorbic acid is one form of vitamin C. The name is derived from a- and scorbutus , the...

, folic acid
Folic acid
Folic acid and folate , as well as pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9...

, and potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

. They are a good source of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex group. Several forms of the vitamin are known, but pyridoxal phosphate is the active form and is a cofactor in many reactions of amino acid metabolism, including transamination, deamination, and decarboxylation...

, riboflavin
Riboflavin
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2 or additive E101, is an easily absorbed micronutrient with a key role in maintaining health in humans and animals. It is the central component of the cofactors FAD and FMN, and is therefore required by all flavoproteins. As such, vitamin B2 is required for a...

, magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, and calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

. One cup of sliced red radish bulbs provides approximately 20 calorie
Calorie
The calorie is a pre-SI metric unit of energy. It was first defined by Nicolas Clément in 1824 as a unit of heat, entering French and English dictionaries between 1841 and 1867. In most fields its use is archaic, having been replaced by the SI unit of energy, the joule...

s, largely from carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2606/2

Cooking

The most commonly eaten portion is the napiform taproot
Taproot
A taproot is an enlarged, somewhat straight to tapering plant root that grows vertically downward. It forms a center from which other roots sprout laterally.Plants with taproots are difficult to transplant...

, although the entire plant is edible and the tops can be used as a leaf vegetable
Leaf vegetable
Leaf vegetables, also called potherbs, green vegetables, greens, leafy greens or salad greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots...

.

The bulb of the radish is usually eaten raw, although tougher specimens can be steamed. The raw flesh has a crisp texture and a pungent, peppery flavor, caused by glucosinolate
Glucosinolate
The glucosinolates are a class of organic compounds that contain sulfur and nitrogen and are derived from glucose and an amino acid. They occur as secondary metabolites of almost all plants of the order Brassicales , but also in the genus Drypetes .-Chemistry:Glucosinolates are water-soluble...

s and the enzyme myrosinase
Myrosinase
Myrosinase is a family of enzymes involved in plant defense against herbivores. Their structure has been elucidated and is available.-Myrosinase activity:...

 which combine when chewed to form allyl isothiocyanate
Allyl isothiocyanate
Allyl isothiocyanate is the organosulfur compound with the formula CH2CHCH2NCS. This colorless oil is responsible for the pungent taste of mustard, horseradish, and wasabi. This pungency and the lachrymatory effect of AITC is mediated through the TRPA1 and TRPV1 ion channels...

s, also present in mustard
Mustard plant
Mustards are several plant species in the genera Brassica and Sinapis whose small mustard seeds are used as a spice and, by grinding and mixing them with water, vinegar or other liquids, are turned into the condiment known as mustard or prepared mustard...

, horseradish
Horseradish
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to south eastern Europe and the Arab World , but is popular around the world today...

, and wasabi
Wasabi
, also known as Japanese horseradish, is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbages, horseradish, and mustard. Its root is used as a condiment and has an extremely strong flavor. Its hotness is more akin to that of a hot mustard rather than the capsaicin in a chili pepper,...

.

Radishes are used in salads, as well as in many European dishes.

Industry

The seeds of the Raphanus sativus species can be pressed to extract seed oil. Wild radish seeds contain up to 48% oil content, and while not suitable for human consumption the oil is a potential source of biofuel
Biofuel
Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

.
The oilseed radish grows well in cool climates.

Culture

Citizens of Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca, Mexico, may refer to:*The state of Oaxaca, one of the 32 component federal entities of the United Mexican States*Oaxaca, Oaxaca, capital city of that state...

, celebrate the radish in a festival called Noche de los Rábanos (Night of the Radishes
Night of the Radishes
The Night of the Radishes is celebrated every year on December 23 and it began in 1897 in the “zócalo” of Oaxaca city. Although it lasts only a few hours, it attracts thousands of people to this plaza each year....

) on December 23 as a part of Christmas La Navidad celebrations. Locals carve religious and popular figures out of radishes and display them in the town square.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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