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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!

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

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


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