Radish Candy

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By Heidi Lewis

Here’s a great idea for a new product—radish-flavored chewing gum! Some reasons why radish-flavored gum would be great:

  • Radishes have great refreshing taste.
  • They have a palate-cleansing effect, leaving you with a sparkly smile.
  • Radishes and their juice are a digestive aid.
  • Radishes have a variety of shapes and sizes and come in attractive packaging—with outsides of lipstick red, purple, pink, white, and even black, to insides of white and tie-dye pink.
  • They stay fresh longer! (OK, they keep fresh in your fridge for a long time.)
  • Because “radish” comes from the Greek raphanos, meaning “quickly appearing,” the radish logo could be the highly marketable bunny rabbit.
  • And of course, radish gum would be all natural.

OK, so maybe the world isn’t quite ready for radish-flavored chewing gum. But when it does hit the market, you heard it here first.

Radishes range from spicy to mild to earthy. The classic, spicy little red sphere with bright white flesh is often called Cherry Belle, Champion, or Sparkler, a two-toned variety. French Breakfast is an elongated pink radish with a white tip and, true to its name, is found in most French markets. Easter Egg radishes are a mix of bright to pastel hues of pink, red, purple, violet, and white. And a big surprise awaits you inside the Watermelon radish. White radishes tend toward the mild spectrum, such as the elongated Japanese Daikon (also called Chinese White radish), but they can be tangy like the Snow Belle or spicy like the White Icicle. There are even black varieties, which keep exceptionally well and are best suited for cooking.

Radishes are most common as salad fare or cut into fanciful roses, but they are quite delicious sautéed, particularly in butter with tarragon. For some, a radish sandwich may recall a youthful European wanderlust or a taste of home. A simple assemblage of good bread, sweet butter, and thinly sliced radishes with an accompaniment of microgreens or sprouts will satisfy hunger in the here and now. Light, refreshing and great for digestion—perhaps in addition to gum, radishes can be marketed as the new after-dinner mint.

Preparation: Wash before using, trim the little root and leaves. The leafy greens can be used raw or sautéed.

Storage: Radishes keep for about two weeks in the crisper drawer of the fridge.


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