There are many different types of radishes. In the markets and in the supermarkets you can find radishes from the classic round or elongated shape. The colors are also very different from one variety to another and can be red or white. There is then giant radish, coming from Asian countries, better known as Daikon. The most noticeable product freshness signal is given by the leaves, verifying that they are not over-dried. The best and most interesting radishes from the food standpoint are the small ones. The largest radishes, in fact, are more woody and less tasty. Radishes in Italian cuisine are presented mainly raw, eating only the root, that is the red or white end, while the leaves are discarded and not considered tasty.
The cultivation of radishes is always made from seeds, purchased at a garden shop or in envelopes that are commonly found in supermarkets within dedicated department stores. Cultivating radishes is extremely simple and fast, being one of the varieties of plants that grow in the garden more quickly. From sowing to harvest can only last only one month. Except for extreme heat periods, radish can be sown in all periods of the year, including winter, provided it takes place within greenhouses or sheltered environments. The main thing to consider is the soil because, like other species that grow under the ground, such as carrots, an excessively tough and compact subsoil could undermine its proper development. Watering should be moderate to the actual need, avoiding excessive watering by manual irrigation. In spring, regular seasonal weather precipitation should be more than sufficient to ensure the necessary water supply. You must also pay attention to the stagnation that could cause dangerous rotting. Harvesting takes place by completely grubbing the radish from the ground. Preferably, it has to be scaled by sowing with the same process to always have a fresh product. The radish, when it is about to mature, let’s glimpse the top emerging from the ground. This is the first signal that radish is ready to be harvested and brought to the table.
Use of radishes
Radishes are cultivated almost exclusively for food purposes. Raw radish can be consumed as a side dish, in combination with other raw or cooked foods, or in a salad. A very interesting variant is the appetizer, with the radish that can be cut and filled with cheese, with a sauce or simply can serve to garnish a dish. The particularity of the radishes is mainly represented by the spiciness, which makes them excellent to be eaten especially in the spring when they are fresh. Radishes have very little calories and they contain calcium, iron and phosphorus, along with important vitamins such as C and B. In addition, radishes are found in folic acid, which is very interesting for pregnancy. The radish has other uses less than the food: phytotherapy, diuretics and purifiers.