Smarter i d’Wuche – Why are radishes sometimes spicy, sometimes bland? – Cash desk espresso


Why is it that radishes are sometimes racy, sometimes mild? Not the variety, but the season is crucial.

An SRF listener from Valais likes racy radishes best and wonders why they have such different levels of spiciness and how you can tell the spiciness in the store? “With apples and potatoes, it also says whether they are sweet, sour, floury or waxy. Why isn’t there anything hot about the radishes?” she asks the SRF consumer magazine “Espresso”.

Worst in midsummer

Radish farmer Frédéric Bart from the Bernese Seeland produces around a third of all radishes from Switzerland. When it comes to sharpness, it is not the variety that plays a role, but above all the time of year: “The sharpness fluctuates with the seasons. They’re sometimes really watery in the winter, they get spicier in the spring and they’re at their hottest in the summer.” This has to do with the ultraviolet rays, i.e. with the sun, according to his thesis.

A lack of water and lots of sun make radishes hot

The vegetable wholesaler Tiziano Marinello also sees it this way: Whether a radish is hot or mild has to do with the mustard oil. This pungent oil is produced by the radish as a defense against predators, but also as a result of stress such as lack of water and lots of sunlight.

“When you produce radishes in a greenhouse, you can control the sharpness somewhat: you can give a little more shade or ration the water, in the field you are more at the mercy of nature’s whims,” ​​says Marinello.

Smaller radishes are hotter

The time of year, water content and ripeness determine whether the red vegetable turns out spicy or bland. The retailers Migros and Coop also say so. Write the variety on the frame, so it doesn’t do much.

Both retailers say in unison: Hotter radishes are more popular with customers. Her tip: If possible, choose smaller specimens. And buy those from the field instead of from the greenhouse.

But be careful, not everyone would like hot radishes, says Tiziano Marinello, co-managing director of the vegetable wholesaler Marinello, which mainly supplies catering establishments: “There are people who can’t stand it.” Especially when radishes are eaten whole as a starter, he sometimes receives complaints. But Marinello is of the opinion that a radish should have a certain spiciness.

Thanks to the SRF listener, will there soon be a new variety in the restaurant?

Thanks to the Radiesli question from the «Espresso» listener from Valais, there may be a new variety in gastronomy next year. Because of her question, Marinello came across a variety that he hadn’t heard of before: the “giants of Aspern” can reach a diameter of up to 15 centimeters. Tiziano Marinello says: “It’s cool when we get new ideas from inquiries like this.”

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