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Definition: radish from Philip's Encyclopedia

Annual garden vegetable developed from a wild plant native to the cooler regions of Asia. Its leaves are long and deeply lobed; the fleshy root, which may be red, white or black, is eaten raw. Family Brassicaceae; species Raphanus sativus.


Summary Article: RADISH
from Cambridge World History of Food

(see also DAIKON)

Technically referring to any of a number of plants belonging to the genus Raphanus and the mustard family, the term “radish” is usually taken to mean the thickened edible ends of R. sativus, which are used in salads and eaten as snacks and appetizers. Radishes come in innumerable varieties, colors (especially red, white, purple, and black), and shapes (ranging from round, to oblong, to long and finger-like). The most common in U.S. produce markets are red and round and are eaten raw, often in salads. Black radishes, common in Eastern Europe and found in a number of Russian dishes, have a very strong flavor and consequently are usually mixed with other foods. The white varieties are sometimes cooked and eaten like the turnips they resemble in taste. Additionally, in East Asia there is a giant white radish called a daikon, which is grated and cooked and used in salads and stir-fries.

Common names and synonyms: Clover radish.

See in addition: “Cruciferous and Green Leafy Vegetables,” Part II, Section C, Chapter 5.

© Cambridge University Press 2000

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