Horseradish plants are part the Brassica family, which also includes mustard, turnips, and cabbages. The plant is native to southeastern Europe and Asia and is now cultivated all over the world. While the horseradish root has no distinctive aroma, once it is cut or grated, it releases enzymes that creates a pungent taste. In a small amount, it can add a strong, spicy, wasabi-like flavor to food, but it can also heavily irritating the eyes and sinuses.

The term “prepared horseradish”refers to the product created when the grated root is mixed with vinegar. It is used for diverse array of culinary purposes, adding kick to sauces, condiments, and even drinks (like a Sunday morning Bloody Mary). Horseradish leaves, which have a similar taste to mustard greens, are also edible, but are less popular or common than the root.

If buying fresh horseradish root, be forewarned that it is highly perishable. Once grated, horseradish must be used immediately or covered in vinegar. Otherwise the root darkens, loses its pungency, and becomes bitter. If refrigerated, horseradish will keep for about four to six weeks.

In Season

February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Available From

Varieties Available

Articles about Horseradish

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.

July 02, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Rafael Zuniga

Rafael’s passion for good food stems from his work with children and youth.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »