The terms 'horseradish' or 'prepared horseradish' refer to the grated root of the horseradish plant mixed with vinegar. Prepared horseradish is white to creamy-beige in colour. It will keep for months refrigerated but eventually will start to darken, indicating it is losing flavour and should be replaced. The leaves of the plant, which while edible aren't commonly eaten, are referred to as 'horseradish greens.' Although technically a root, horseradish is generally treated as a condiment or ingredient.
In the USA, prepared horseradish is commonly used as an ingredient in Bloody Mary cocktails, in cocktail sauce, as a sauce or spread on meat, chicken, and fish, and in sandwiches. The American fast-food restaurant chain Arby's uses horseradish in its "Horsey Sauce", which is provided as a regular condiment, alongside ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.
- Fresh horseradish can be bought on line or in person from The Spice Shop
- UK supermarket, Morrisons now sell whole raw horseradish root. (April 2012)
Grow your own
Whilst I have found it difficult to obtain seeds for horseradish, it's easy to find in the wild in the UK. Keep you eye open when on rough or damp ground, where it often grows like a weed. It's easy to spot because the leaves look as though they are plastic and they have a distinct horseradish smell. Cut a small piece of the root and plant it. You will very quickly have a complete plant. The potted horseradish pictured was grown from a piece of root about the size of a broad bean. Watch out for the slugs, they love it!