A large plant thought to be of Oriental origin. These plants are grown chiefly for their pungent peppery root, which can get up to 2 pounds or more. This radish is popular in Germany and in the East.
These large, pungent radishes are better known in Eastern Europe than in the United States. With their black peels and white interiors, they can be fashioned into attractive garnishes, or you can peel and cook them like turnips. You can also serve them raw, though it helps to tame them down first by salting and rinsing them. Substitutes: rutabaga (much milder flavor) OR turnip (much milder flavor).
They may be thinly sliced and deep fried to make chips (snacks), or used in a variety of dishes in other ways. However, their bitter flavor only reinforces their more traditional use as a medicine. Black radish is not really nutritious but has many medicinal properties. It is rich in vitamin C which makes it an interesting ally during these winter months. Vitamin C helps us fight infections and free radicals. Black radish also contains B vitamins and sulfur (causing its bitterness).
Its high content of fiber increase peristaltic movements. In addition, it contains large amounts of water. Both water and fiber help our transit and people who suffer from constipation may benefit from this vegetable.
It contains a variety of chemicals that increase the flow of bile which play an important role in the digestion process. Radish help maintain a healthy gallbladder.
It also has an antibacterial effect on our digestive flora.
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.
Caution: People with gallbladder problems (stones, obstructions…) should not eat too much of this vegetable, nor should people with hepatic problems.
Black radish is at its best in winter.
When purchased, black radishes must be firm with unblemished skins. Avoid a radish that is soft or wrinkled. Like other root vegetables, black radish keeps well in a cool area. You can store them for up to 3 weeks.