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Monday, October 30, 2017

RÁBANO RUSTICANO - HORSERADISH

Horseradish and Cockscomb Sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams
rábano vagico, rabáno magistro, rabaniza, OCast rávano, rauano vexisco, agisco, rábano gallisco (gallician), L. Cochlearia armoracia or Raphamus sativus Heb het-zayin-resh-saf khazeret, OEng rædic (fr. L. radix, root), MEng radiche, raddyk, rasen, Eng horseradish. It is a native of western Asia and central Europe. It is one of the oldest known vegetables. It grew wild in England before the Romans invaded. It existed in the 12th C, at least, in Spain. It was popular in England during the Middle Ages but not cultivated there until after the 15th C. In 1379, action was taken against London cheats selling radish as ginger.

The plant has white flowers blooming on hills in May and broad rough leaves. Today, it is planted throughout the year and collected year round. In medieval times, the leaves and roots were eaten for their fleshy, slightly pungent flavor.

Horseradishes were used medicinally and as condiments. As a medicinal it is used as an antiscobic, as an appetitive and a digestive to stimulate the mucus secretions in the stomach and as a diuretic and to combat dropsy, rachitic and scrofula, alone or mixed with iodine.

There is a 14th C manuscript providing a recipe for horseradish preserved in syrup. The leaves and roots had the virtue of moving and warming. Eaten with vinegar, horseradishes eliminated kidney stones. The heated root thinned the phlegm and helped the boiling process in the stomach. It was eaten to elongate the stomach. It was consumed raw with salt at the beginning and end of meals and served with any dish and as a sauce as Nola’s Horseradish and Wild Clary Sauce. Chaucer warned cooks not to make sauces. without horseradish stating: “Woe to his cook, unless the sauces were poignant and sharp. . . ”

[Alonso, Martín. 1994:III:N:4110; Chirino/Herrera. 1973:239; ES: Carroll-Mann. “Food.” Sep 1, 02; ES: Chaucer. Aug 23, 03:353-354; ES: Lord. “gallo cresta.” Aug 10, 14; Font Quer. Plantas. 1999:143:254-255; Gázquez. Cocina. 2000:114; Henisch. 1976:97; Hieatt. Ordiance.1988:97; Nola 1989:l-4; Sass.1967:21; and Wilson.1973:205]

See blog titled "gallo cresta" dated Aug 10, 14 for Nola’s recipe for Sauce of Horseradish and of Clary Sage.

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