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Passover the Horseradish, please?

meerrettich horseradishThis ancient herb is featured as one of the five bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover festival which starts today. It is a native of Eastern Europe but now grows on other part of Europe as well as the United States. Though it has spiky green leaves that can be used in salads, horseradish is grown mainly for its large, white, pungently spicy roots. It’s roots belong to the mustard family. It has virtually no aroma until you scratch its skin; then, it will emit a sharp, penetrating aroma, similar to mustard oil, causing the eyes to water. It’s a main staple in the Japanese wasabi. Choose roots that are firm with no sign of blemishes or withering. It should be refrigerated, wrapped in a plastic bag and peeled before using. It is most often grated and used in sauces or as a condiment with fish or meat. Add it to sour cream and/or yogurt and you have the creamed horseradish sauce that is a compliment to prime rib.