What is horseradish?
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What is horseradish?

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How could anything offer a more perfect accompaniment to a succulent joint of roast beef than a generous helping of this luxuriously smooth and pungently flavoursome condiment?

What is horseradish?

Horseradish is a cruciferous vegetable with a long white root and green leaves thought to have originated in Eastern Europe. When the root is cut, it produces an oil that gives horseradish its tell-tale odour and taste. When grated and added to vinegar, salt, and sugar, the root is used as a condiment which is white to creamy-beige in colour.

In the UK, horseradish sauce is often served with roast beef as part of a traditional Sunday roast, but also adds a distinctive flavour to other dishes, including sandwiches or salads.

Why is horseradish called horseradish?

The word radish comes from the Latin word ‘radix’ meaning root. That’s the easy part. As for the horse connection, none are actually used to make horseradish sauce. In fact, it’s believed the name horseradish may be derived from the German term meerettich, meaning sea radish because initially it was grown by the sea. The ‘meer’ part could then have been confused with mare or mähre, with the thought that it referred to a horse.

What does horseradish sauce taste like?

Uncut, the horseradish root doesn’t smell or taste of anything much at all. Only when cut or grated does it produce mustard oil with its strong smell and spicy taste. On their own these can burn the tongue and bring tears to the eyes.

When mixed with vinegar, salt, and sugar for use as a condiment, horseradish’s raw fierceness is moderated into a mild creamy sauce. Horseradish sauce made with mayonnaise or sour cream is also popular.

Cooking with horseradish

When cooking with horseradish, much depends on how authentic a horseradish flavour you’re aiming for.

Of course, you could simply mix a milder prepared horseradish sauce into your cooking, but horseradish is at its most flavourful when freshly grated by hand and added at the end of cooking as heat eliminates both the root’s aroma and zing.

Horseradish goes well with both meat and vegetable dishes, and does wonders when added to loaded potatoes skins.

How do you make horseradish sauce? 

Peel and chop your horseradish root. If using a food processor or blender cut into cubes; if a hand grater cut the piece of horseradish in half lengthwise. Process or grind the horseradish to your desired consistency. If using a hand grater, be prepared for the pungent odour and fumes!

Add vinegar, salt and perhaps a little sugar to taste, but be aware that the longer you wait to add the vinegar, the hotter and stronger the horseradish will be, and it will quickly turn bitter unless mixed with vinegar.

Cottage Delight’s Classic Horseradish Sauce

If you’d rather not go out hunting for your horseradish roots, we have the perfect solution in the taste of our Cottage Delight Horseradish Sauce.

Add an extra kick to your meal with this luxuriously smooth sauce that’s packed with flavour. Purchase Cottage Delight’s Classic Horseradish Sauce and make dinnertime more exciting with the rest of our Classic Condiments collection.


Take a look at a selection of sauces

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