Red is the color most closely associated with radishes. The hearty, year-round vegetable can range from red and pink to white and every hue in between. Green and black radishes are even native to a few countries.
Red radishes have a layer of red skin and are white inside. Red globe (or button radishes) are the most popular in the United States. Scarlet, champion and red king are a few other varieties. French Breakfast radishes have an elongated, rather than round, root. These crisp, peppery veggies are spring and summer varieties, and most often grace salads and vegetable platters.
Pink and White Radishes
Pink beauties can range from bright hot-pink to lighter pinkish hues. Like the red radish, it is only the skin of these veggies that is colored. White beauties, California mammoth white and white icicles are glowing white radishes, inside and out. Many packets of seeds mix the similarly mild-flavored pink and white varieties. Daikon is a Japanese white radish that grows very large and thick, and has a much stronger flavor.
Watermelon radishes (an Asian variety) are sweeter, with a white outer skin and reddish-pink flesh. There are also strong, black Spanish radishes and green Chinese radishes. Plum purple radishes are purple, but rare. It is believed that radishes were originally black, then bred to be white and eventually red by the 1700s.
As the radish plant begins to grow, seedlings sprout a few roundish, bright-green leafs, which can also be eaten. Eventually you will note the colorful top of the radish root poking above the ground. Pick radishes when they are an inch or so across. Yellow flowers will grow at the tops of many fully-grown radish stalks. Radishes grow fast and should be picked fast -- ideally before they fully flower, or they can become tough and stringy. Radishes should not be yellow or have brown spots.
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