Red Cole (Eng.), Peperwortel (Afr.)
Horseradish is used as a spice, grows up to 1.2 meters tall, and is primarily cultivated for its large, white, tapered root. It is a perennial plant with a tapering, fleshy taproot that grows up to 60 cm long and has large basal leaves with toothed margins. The white flowers appear mid-summer to mid-autumn. The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma but when cut or grated, the broken down enzymes produce mustard oil, which irritates the mucous membranes of the sinuses and eyes. Grated mash should be used immediately or preserved in vinegar for best flavor. Once exposed to air or heat it will begin to lose its pungency, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter tasting over time.