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Horseradish

I participated in a thread around Passover last year in which many CHs agreed that it's very hard to locate horseradish that's fiery enough. Since then, I've found Saw Mill Site Farm's Frankie's Original Hot Horseradish. It's a local company whose ad I saw in Edible Boston. I called the company and had a wonderful chat with the owner who assured me that his is the real deal. When I mentioned that my mom usually grinds her own horseradish but that we've had trouble getting roots that are potent enough, he said it's because most roots that are available to the general public aren't big enough to be as fiery as the ones he gets.

I haven't opened my jar yet because I don't want it to lose potency before the seder so I can't give a product review for a few weeks. It's $4.69 a jar, so a bit on the pricey side, but I think a small price to pay for supporting a local business who's so friendly. The "where to buy" info on the website isn't entirely accurate but it is available at the Whole Foods on River St. in Cambridge, Henrietta's Table in Cambridge and at Pemberton Farms in Cambridge.

For more info., visit www.horseradishdirect.com .

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  1. I actually purchased some, for th same reason (local, small company, the real deal...) and I was very dissappointed. It wasn't hot at all, IMHO, and I went back to Gold's...

    1. I just bought a jar of Gold's that I've never seen before that has a red label, and is labeled "hot." I haven't opened it yet, but I'm hoping it really is hot.

      My dad had a friend many years ago that made his own horseradish that was really potent. The frist time he brought it home he made my mom smell it without warning, and she passed out. That was good stuff.

      1. Make your way over to any of the Polish markets on Dorchester Ave and Boston St in the South Boston, Dorchester area for both "homemade" and imported hot horseradish.

        2 Replies
        1. re: janzy

          I just bought a jar of horseradish with beet from the Baltic Market on Dot ave and had with some of their wicked good kielbasa. Not only am I still tasting it (three hours later), for $14 bucks I have dinner for four days (two kielbasas, about $7, some noodles, $2, a big jar of the delicious horseradish, $5).

          1. re: sailormouth

            I made my first trip to Baltic on last Friday; after a Speed's dog. Kielbasa and the non beet horseradish. Great flavors. Baltic moves onto my regular list. I hear their butter is very good too..but haven't tried yet..next time.

        2. To quote you : " When I mentioned that my mom usually grinds her own horseradish but that we've had trouble getting roots that are potent enough, he said it's because most roots that are available to the general public aren't big enough to be as fiery as the ones he gets. "
          The main problem here getting fresh ones potent enough, lies completely with the idiotic handling of fresh roots by Super Marked Produce managers and their uninformed personnel.
          Long time storage even at display in stores requires a moist medium. Preferably wet sand in the stores back area. I am sure when first delivered to the main distribution centers, the Horseradish is large, firm and plump. If not properly kept, wilting comes rather fast, shrivelling occurs and strength diminishes. Most produce managers have no idea about produce, and companies seem to be clueless. Adequate training here is desperately needed.
          When you find a root nice and plump and hard as a turnip, buy it, do it when first harvested in the autuum and place it in a bucket with regular well moistened beach sand, store in cool place (basement) will last all winter. Remember the term 'root cellar'?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Peter B Wolf

            Thanks for the background Peter, that explains the unpredictability of my homemade horseradish. If you have a reasonably heavy-duty food processor it's almost trivially easy to make your own, which I do regularly (just watch for the blast of fumes when you open the container!), but I never know whether the result is going to be knock-your-socks-off or just ho-hum. Storage of the root explains it. Any recommendations on which vendors do a better job of handling it? Obviously the firmer the root the fresher it is, but the OP's comments about her discussion with Saw Mill's owner implies that the larger roots are also hotter than small ones. Is this true? If so I wonder why? Longer growing time perhaps?

            As an aside - don't ever try to grow your own. I did once, and discovered that it's one of the most invasive plants known to man.

            1. re: BobB

              My mom and I did a taste test one year using roots from Wilson Farms, Russo's and Stop & Shop and none were satisfactory.

              We also tried growing a root in a giant pot one year so that it wouldn't take over our garden but it didn't work.

          2. I'm sorry to report that the Sawmill Site Farm horseradish was not at all hot. It had a very strong vinegar taste but no fire.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Velda Mae

              I DID take the advice you gave, and got the biggest gnarliest horseradish root I could find.(I was down in RI, and found them at Dave's Marketplace)...Grated my own, and added a little vinegar and salt...A whiff was enough to cause severe, nasal impact...."Galleygirl's Hotter Than Gehenna Horseradish"...In the future, I'm a confirmed grate-it-yourself girl...;)