Spreewälder Meerrettich (Spreewald horseradish)
G.g.A. Spreewälder Meerrettich is fresh horseradish which is grown in the Spreewald area of Germany by controlled organic production methods in accordance with the Brandenburg Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forests' guideline of 18 May 1995 on aid for the introduction of controlled organic production of fruit and vegetables. The processed product consists of grated horseradish mainly from the Spreewald area, with added vegetable oil, citric acid and preservatives.
Geographical area: In view of the soil conditions and other climatic factors which combine to produce the special characteristics of the fresh product, particularly its distinctive flavour, and of the traditional recipes and processing methods used, the geographical area is restricted to the Spreewald economic region.
Proof of origin: The fresh product comes exclusively from growing areas in the Spreewald region and is processed in holdings located within the Spreewald region monitored by the Brandenburg Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forests.
Method of production: Any processing follows traditional recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation and uses traditional preservation methods. The grating process has been optimised so as to preserve the structure of the cellular tissue and prevent excess moisture loss.
Link: The unique soil structure in the Spreewald economic region (basically peat with some clay and fine silt deposits, constant relatively high moisture content) and its special micro-climate provides favourable conditions for growing horseradish. For centuries farms in this area have been producing horseradish and selling the fresh product or marketing a processed product bottled in accordance with traditional recipes. "Spreewälder Meerrettich" has its own distinctive (notably sharp and uniquely piquant) flavour which identifies it beyond all doubt as coming from the Spreewald region. Therefore processing in the Spreewald area is particularly important, as this guarantees that traditional preservation and processing methods are used. The horseradish growers and processors in the Spreewald area follow processing guidelines which ensure quality and which are monitored by independent inspectors
The G.g.A. Spreewälder Meerrettich is preserved in oil or in vinegar. It can be consumed dried, fresh or cooked, served with meat, vegetables and sauces. In the Spreewald, the G.g.A. Spreewälder Meerrettich is grated on cooked pig's trotter, but also on beef, which is typically enjoyed served with the characteristic spicy taste of this horseradish. Furthermore, it goes very well with boiled meat and in general with any dish. It is very famous for its beneficial properties, since it stimulates the digestion and performs a protective function in the intestine.
Reference: The European Commission