Radish comes from the Latin work radix. From the Latin word comes the Greek raphonos, which means, that which rise early. The radish is a member of the mustard family, and is related to horseradish. They can range in color from white, to red to purple to black. Radishes are though to be native to the near east. It is one of the first vegetables to be domesticated 4000 years ago by the Egyptians, and the Babylonians. In approximately 500BC, the Chinese developed different varieties of radishes. Radish sprouts are also said to be a delicacy.
Spring Radishes range in color. There are a few different types of Asian Radishes. The daikon radish is long and white. The kimchee radish is green. Lo bok (Lo pak, luo boh) can be pink, red, white, or mixed. Mu (Moo, Mooli) is short and fat, and has white flesh. Black radishes are firm and dry. They originated during the 19th century in the Mediterranean. They are round and black. They may also be known as Spanish radishes. The skin is sooty black, but the skin is ivory white. These radishes are grown to be stored. They are very pungent like horseradish. Watermelon radishes are a possible mutation of a hybrid. Daikon radishes are white-fleshed winter radishes. They have smooth skin and crisp flesh. They also can be black, pink or green.
Chinese cook their radishes. Americans, eat them raw as relishes. Koreans pickle the radish roots, leaves, seedpods, and sprouts. Japanese pickle their radishes, as well as eat them raw, and cooked.
Small table radishes are best in the spring. Black radishes are best in the winter. Oriental radishes are available year round. Red fleshes radishes are available in the fall to late winter. When choosing radishes, look for perky greens attached with no cracks. They should be solid and firm.
Radishes contain vitamins C, potassium, and folic acid. They are said to be antiseptic, antiarthritic, and antirheumatic. They stimulate the appetite, combat scurvy, and rickets, and aids in digestion. They are also said to help in the treatments of asthma, bronchitis, mineral deficiencies, and liver and gallbladder troubles.