Horseradish is spicy in a different way from chilli, but is just
as intense. The gnarled beige root looks innocuous, but
cut it open and the bitter pungency is eye-watering.

Ancient Greeks considered horseradish an aphrodisiac and painkiller. Legend has it that the Oracle of Delphi told Apollo it was worth its weight in gold. In the first millennium AD, the root spread to Central Europe and Scandinavia to be used as medicine and garnish. By the 1600s, it was an accompaniment to beef and oysters in Britain and by the 1850s, it had moved to America, where Central Europeans set up horseradish farms in the Midwest.


You’ll need
2 thick slices brown bread
4 slices roast beef
Jarred horseradish (or make
your own; see below)
Handful of rocket (arugula)

1 root of horseradish
2 tbs water
1 tbs white wine vinegar
3/5 cup (150mL) double

Cooking Method
1 Peel then roughly chop the horseradish root. Shred it through the grater in a food blender with a little water. Add the vinegar and then the double cream and seasoning to taste.
2 Spread prepared horseradish on bread to taste. Top with sliced roast beef and rocket, and finish it off by sandwiching the filling with the second slice of bread.

Tasting notes
A cruciferous root vegetable related to broccoli and cabbage, horseradish resembles a thick, creamy-tan carrot. Native to Europe and western Asia, it certainly gets around, appearing in different guises all over the world. Add zing to your English roast beef with a sauce of grated horseradish and vinegar, or use it to cut the fattiness of your Polish kielbasa. In Germany, take a bracing nip of horseradish schnapps, or wash down your horseradish-topped sausage with some horseradish beer. Add a counterpoint to sharp Wisconsin cheddar with a horseradish-and-cheese sandwich. Or, come brunch time, wake yourself up with a sinusclearing horseradish-spiked Bloody Mary cocktail. Bottoms up!

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