The horseradish is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Cruciferae family, which is widespread in the wild but can be also cultivated. Horseradish's roots are used in the kitchen; they are collected in autumn-winter, have a cylindrical, irregular shape and can reach a length that varies between 30 and 70 cm. The color of the rind is yellow-brown, while the pulp is whitish; the pungent and bitter smell is caused by an essential oil contained in the root itself. The flavour is very spicy and is more intense if the root is cut transversely, obtaining slices or washers; if, on the other hand, thin strips are removed along the length, the taste is less marked. Horseradish is also used grated and directly on the ingredient or it is left to macerate in milk to "soften" its taste. This root is widely used in the cuisine of Northern Europe, while in Italy it is scarcely used. One of the most typical preparations with horseradish is a sauce to accompany boiled meats. Sometimes a small amount is also mixed with lightly whipped cream to accompany the smoked salmon. Horseradish is available on the market grated and preserved in jars.

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