Dietribes: Simply Radishing


• Radishes were so highly valued by the ancient Greeks that small replicas of them were made in gold; beets were shown in silver and turnips in lead. The Greeks of the third century B.C. wrote of the radishes of their day, and a Greek physician wrote a whole book about the plant (and was mocked for doing so by Pliny).

• The radish is not fadish: Like the Greeks, ancient Egyptian records show that radishes were a common food in Egypt before the Pyramids were built.

• The word "radish" comes from the Latin radix for root. And one cup of sliced red radishes will give you 30 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement in less than 25 calories!

• But you know who really can't do without radishes? … Fraggles! Mokey was responsible for braving the Gorgs' garden and collecting the radishes, Doozers mined radishes and Red was the Fraggle Rock champion of the Blindfolded One-Legged Radish Relay (Now who has the "Fraggle Rock" song in their heads? It'll be there the rest of the day. Sorry!)

• Radishes also are useful as decorative carved items (such as a mouse or a rose), and even have their own celebration in Mexico called "Night of the Radishes" (which would be a fantastic B-Movie title).

• They also make a decent substitute for tomatoes … allow me to explain: opera great Maria Callas was once pelted with radishes and required 150 cops at the opera house.

• In Danish, Charles Schultz’s Peanuts is translated as “Little Radishes.”

• Radishes seem to grow quite beautifully in comic books (literally - it was dubbed "manga farming") and have conquered space!

• Back on Earth, according to researchers at the University of Georgia, it may be possible for radish oilseed to be used as a biofuel. (The seed is about 40 percent oil by weight).

• And just for the sake of pretty: watermelon radishes!

• Luna Lovegood (of the Harry Potter series) had radish earrings, and now you can, too!

• Do you Flossers eat radishes? Or even grow your own? I'd like to eat them more often but am not totally sure where to start!

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‘Dietribes’ appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.