Is horseradish a kind of radish? The word radish is in the name, so it would make sense. But are these two vegetables related to one another in any way?
The Short Answer:
No, radish and horseradish are two completely different plants.
The Long Answer:
What’s in a name?
Clearly, not a lot. Take horseradish for example. Its name is composed of two root words: horse and radish.
We know that there’s no horse in this plant, and there’s also no radish whatsoever. I think because of its confusing name, a lot of people believe that horseradish is some offshoot brand of radish, like the daikon radish. That’s not the case at all.
Both horseradish and radish are a part of the same family of vegetables. They both belong to the Brassicaceae family. However, they are totally different species. It’s like how humans and gorillas are both primates, but we’re not the same animal.
The scientific name of horseradish is Armoracia Rusticana. The common radish is called Raphanus sativus. Two completely different names for two completely different plants.
Both horseradish and radish are considered root vegetables. By that I mean they are picked primarily for their roots, much like a carrot or onion. The leaves of both plants are edible, but we’re mostly concerned with their meaty roots.
Both of these vegetables also have health benefits that many don’t think about. Most members of the Brassicaceae family contain a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane. Some other members of that family which also carry this compound are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. So, while horseradish does have this in common with radishes, it also has this in common with broccoli and a wealth of other family members.
In terms of flavor, they’re quite different. A freshly picked radish can be eaten as is. Its taste is hot and spicy with a lovely crispiness. Horseradish has a powerful spicy sinus-clearing taste that you can feel all throughout your head. Horseradish is often consumed as “prepared horseradish” which is ground horseradish root mixed with vinegar and sometimes salt and sugar. When prepared horseradish is combined with other ingredients like corn syrup, cornstarch, egg yolks, and lemon, it can be turned into a creamy horseradish sauce.
Did you think that horseradish and radishes were the same thing? Which of these vegetables do you prefer? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!