What Does Horseradish Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Does Horseradish Taste Like? 

Horseradish has a hot, spicy, and throat-burning taste. This spice is not felt on the tongue but through the nose and sinuses. Horseradish has a prominent pungent flavor which makes it unfit for direct consumption. It is consumed as a side dish and condiment with other platters. 

This guide describes to you exactly what to expect when taking a serving of Horseradish.

The best chefs around the world have considered it a treasure of a condiment and I see no flaw in saying so too.

Let’s savor the surprising flavors of Horseradish right on our palettes!

What Is Horseradish?

Horseradish is a perennial plant native to Europe and Western Asia. It belongs to the same plant species as cabbage, mustard, wasabi, and broccoli. Horseradish is a root vegetable, beige-white, and can grow up to 1.5 meters underground. 

Uncut Horseradish has little aroma but once chopped or grated, it releases mustard oil which may irritate the eye with its intensity. 

What Does Horseradish Taste Like?

Horseradish tastes like an explosive mix of all spicy flavors with a hint of mustard aroma. It belongs to the same family as cabbage, wasabi, broccoli, and mustard. Chopped or grated Horseradish is relished condiments with meat platters like pork shoulder, fried chicken, short ribs, and more.

Horseradish has a pungent spicy taste similar to that of onion just intensified. The spice of Horseradish is felt most in the nose and throat unlike the spice of hot peppers which is felt on the tongue. 

Vinegar is added to this raw root to help stabilize the heated spice to some extent but the hot essence remains. Horseradish sauce can also be added to beverages like Bloody Mary to give it a delicious kick.

Here are some health benefits of Horseradish –

What Is The Texture of Horseradish?

Horseradish is a long, cylindrical root vegetable that can grow up to 1.5 meters underground. It has fine root hairs covering it, wrinkles, and bumps with a tapering end. The dirty white skin is firm but thin and can be easily shaved off.

The vegetable itself is tough and aqueous and makes a nice munch. It can be cooked or roasted to add to any dish as a side or condiment.  Heat does allow it to soften but its heated spice remains.

What Does Horseradish Smell Like? 

Horseradish has a distinct pungent and spicy smell capable of bringing tears to the eyes. It has a sharp sulfurous and earthy smell which is revealed only once it is grated or sliced. The raw root vegetable does not have any noticeable smell until then.

This pungency reduces when it is in contact with air or humidity. Vinegar helps to reduce this sharpness from its aroma.

What Does Horseradish Sauce Taste Like?

Horseradish sauce tastes like a milder version of the root itself. A neutral Horseradish sauce can be prepared at home by simply adding vinegar to blended horseradish with salt to taste. It can be enjoyed with various meat platters like short ribs and grilled pork. 

Blended horseradish combined with a heavy base like mayonnaise, sour cream, or cream along with salt and pepper allows it to be paired with so many dishes or just some freshly baked buns.

Here is a quick way to prepare your own Horseradish!

What Is The Difference Between Horseradish And Daikon Radish?

Both Horseradish and Daikon Radish belong to the same family of plants but taste completely different. Horseradish has a hot spicy and acidic taste and a bumpy outer skin and is utilized most often as a side or condiment because of its spice.

Daikon radish is seen as both white and red and has smooth outer skin. Along with a mild heat, it has a hint of sweetness and can be consumed as any other vegetable.

Why Does Horseradish Taste Like Chemicals?

The reason behind this chemical-like taste of Horseradish is the presence of the compound called allyl isothiocyanate which gives it a strong pungent smell. Another chemical presence called sinigrin is released when the horseradish is cut and exposed to air.

The mix of these chemicals gives it a spicy flavor with an unpleasant odor. Raw Horseradish does not taste like chemicals unless it is blended or chopped.

What Does Horseradish Taste Best With?

Horseradish sauce can be paired well with various savory meat platters like roasted beef, pork sandwich, a simple potato soup, and beef stew. It can also be an efficient dressing on salads to give them a fresh spicy kick. It can make a great morning bite by simply spreading it on freshly baked buns.

Horseradish can also be well paired with fruits like apples, pineapples, strawberries, and peaches to balance out with its tangy taste. It can be added to beverages like Bloody marys. 

Here is a classic German guide to preparing Horseradish.

Does Horseradish Taste Like Wasabi?

Horseradish and Wasabi do have similarities in their flavor profiles with their rich heated and acidic flavors. They are both root vegetables with an uneven appearance and are known to be great condiments to flare up any dish with their intensity. 

They do not however taste entirely the same. Horseradish has a strong spicy flavor that can bring tears to your eyes while Wasabi has a hint of floral sweetness hidden under all the heat.

Is Horseradish Bitter or Spicy?

Horseradish is both spicy and bitter respectively as it gets exposed to air and humidity. Once the horseradish is chopped it has an intense spicy flavor and heated aroma that reaches the back of your throat. 

The longer it is exposed to air, this pungent acidic flavor changes to a bitter and darkens in color. It still retains its flaming spicy taste with additional bitterness.

Can You Eat Horseradish Raw?

Horseradish can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. However, it tastes most intense in its raw state with extreme nose-tickling pungency and burning heat. Once cooked or pickled with vinegar, horseradish seems to lose some of its pungent taste but remains spicy.

Grated or blended Horseradish is used as an efficient relish and garnish with many savory and sweet platters and even in beverages.  Roasted or pickled horseradish is preferred over its raw state.

In The End

I hope that this elaborate journey to the land of Horseradish helped you learn about the exact taste of Horseradish.

I hope to hear more from you upon reading this article. Do keep us posted about any queries or feedback to help this guide move towards its betterment. 

Share this journey with your friends and family to take them along to experience more palettes together with us!

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About Pratibha Singh

Pratibha is a popular home chef and loves to prepare some amazing Indian dishes. A foodie to the core she enjoys other cuisines too. She has been cooking since childhood and often prepares meals for her family, friends, and even strangers. Her motto in life: “Always be prepared!”