Grind fresh horseradish roots in a well-ventilated room. The fumes from grinding are potent. A whiff may be stronger than you expect!
Using a blender for grinding makes home preparation practical and less tearful.
To grate your own horseradish, wash and peel the root as you would a potato and dice it into small cubes. Place the cubes in the blender jar. Process no more than half a container load at a time. Add a small amount of cold water and crushed ice. Start with enough cold water to completely cover the blades of the blender. Add several crushed ice cubes. Put the cover on the blender before turning the blender on. If necessary, add more water or crushed ice to complete the grinding. When the mixture reaches the desired consistency, add white vinegar. Use two to three tablespoons of white vinegar and half teaspoon of salt for each cup of grated horseradish (One tablespoon of sugar may be substituted for the salt).
If desired, lemon juice may be substituted for the vinegar to give it a slightly different flavor. The time at which you add the vinegar is important. Vinegar stops the enzymatic action in the ground product and stabilizes the degree of hotness. If you like horseradish that is not too hot, add vinegar immediately. If you like as hot as can be, wait three minutes before adding the vinegar. Place the mixture in small glass jars and screw the lids on firmly. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Fresh horseradish may also be finely shaved or grated and added directly to the food. This simple method is frequently used by discriminating cooks. Fine shavings may also be placed in a dish of lemon juice to be served at the table.
The sharp and piquant flavor and penetrating smell of horseradish become apparent when the root is grated or ground. This is because the root contains highly volatile oils that are released by enzyme activity when the root cells are crushed.
If exposed to air or stored improperly, horseradish looses its its pungency rapidly after grinding.
To keep prepared horseradish (commercial or homemade) and its flavor best, store it in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Be careful to allow room for expansion when storing glass jars in the freezer. It will keep its good quality for about four to six weeks in the refrigerator and for six months or longer in the freezer. Buy or prepare only the amount of horseradish that can be used in a reasonable time. Fresh roots may be stored for several months if they are washed, placed in polyurethane bags, and stored at 32 - 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
Horseradish has nothing to do with horses, and it is not a radish. It is a member of the mustard family. The name may have come from an English adaptation of its German name. In early times the plant grew wild in European coastal areas. The Germans called it "Meerrettich" or "Searadish". The German word "meer" sounds like "mare" in English. Perhaps "mareradish" eventually became "horseradish".
The word "Horseradish" first appeared in print in 1597 in John Gerarde's English Herbal or Medicinal Plants.
J.R. Kelly Company
The Horseradish House
703 South Bluff Road
Collinsville, Illinois 62234
Phone: (618) 344-2910
Toll Free: 1-888-344-4392
Fax: (618) 344-2297