The only radish variety I have been familiar with, up until now - is a vibrant + crunchy spring radish, always expecting just a little bit of heat. Growing up, we would eat them raw as snacks or we would slice them thinly and eat them on sandwiches. In early 2020, I was placing an order with Baker Creek Seeds, and I was intrigued by the following.
CHINESE SHAWO FRUIT: A unique bright green radish from North China. It's known in Beijing as a fruit radish because the roots are crisp and sweet it is similar in texture and taste to pear. Baker Creek says it grows well only in cool weather and is great for a fall planting. To get the sweet fruit like favor it must be grown in the right conditions, otherwise it can be considered to be quite spicy.
JAPANESE MINOWASE DAIKON: It's a popular old Japanese favorite, the giant white roots grow to 24 inches long and 3inches wide. This radish was sweet and very crisp, They were really nice in size.
PUSA JAMUNI: This radish is a soft lavender-to-purple color from pith to skin and is exceptionally spicy - almost like horseradish. A nutritious root crop and Baker Creek recommends this variety sliced thin and eaten raw or pickled. This heirloom occasionally produces a few white-rooted radishes - but and I would say my harvest was about 50% white-50% bright purple, but I didn't mind because they were just as beautiful. This radish is an antioxidant packed variety from India + apparently It’s best grown in the fall.
These seeds were originally supposed to be for my Spring 2021 garden, but sometime in the summer - I accidentally left my box of brand new seeds outside.. they all got wet and sprouted! Instead of tossing thousands of seeds in the garbage, I took a risk and put them all in the garden.
Thankfully, they all thrived in the cool fall weather and in a few short months - they were ready to harvest. Here they are in their glory, showing off their stunning colors.
I absolutely loved the raw + crunchy flavors of the Chinese Shawo Fruit and the Japanese Minowase Daikson. Both of them were truly mild and sweet. The Pusa Jamuni however, was far too spicy for me personally, I wish I had the chance to pickle these beauties but instead, I roasted them all for recent dinners. When roasted at 350F with some salt, pepper + olive oil, the "spiciness" totally goes away and these radishes are delicious. I will most definitely be growing these the same. Have you ever tried these varieties? Let me know!