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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clear the Sinuses

For many Jews, horseradish is a traditional part of the Passover meal.  Of course, horseradish goes great with a lot of meals--fish, roast beef, cured meats, sausage.  Pretty much anything that could use the sinus-clearing taste of this herb.

Yes, horseradish is an herb.  In fact, the International Herb Association (no, I didn't know there was such a group either) named it 2011 Herb of the Year (no, I didn't know there was such an honor either).  Horseradish is actually related to cabbage and radishes, all of which are in the mustard family.

Horseradish can be a bit of a task to grow.  Often they are left in the ground for more than one season so they grow bigger.  And you must remove all the roots and rootlets from the plant or the next year, it will choke out anything else you have growing in the vicinity.  Some even suggest growing it in a trash can.

Grating fresh horseradish can be a tear-inducing affair.  The roots are very hard, so they must be grated by hand or in a food processor.  And the potent aroma can stick around a house for a long time.  That's why back in the mid-19th century, H.J. Heinz decided to start selling pre-grated horseradish--the housewives who were doing this job by hand were more than happy to pay for someone else to do it. 

Of course, we don't need Heinz in these parts because we have Kelchner's.  Right here in Dublin, PA, Kelchner's grates and produces horseradish for sale--and it's good stuff.  Can't get much fresher than something packaged down the road.  They offer Grated Horseradish, Horseradish Sauce, Cocktail Sauce, Tartar Sauce, Horseradish Mustard and Horseradish with Beets.  Check out their website for more info about their products. 

Read more about horseradish and get some good horseradish recipes in an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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