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Horseradish FAQs.

There are numerous myths and interesting questions about the spiciest root in Styria. Why does the wonder-root make us cry? What is the best way to grow horseradish and how can I identify genuine Styrian horseradish?

Ask us your questions - the horseradish experts from SteirerKren are happy to provide answers.

It was being used in 1500 BC in Egypt and its medicinal properties were known.

This word is not connected to horses, but to the earlier meaning of “horse”: “strong, large, coarse”.

If horseradish is cut or shredded, the stinging smell often irritates the eyes, causing tears. The reason for this is the mustard oil that is formed: allylisothiocyanate.

Styrian horseradish labelled PGI (g.g.A. in German) is 100% produce of Styria. Using isotope testing, scientists can distinguish foreign counterfeits from the original and definitively identify the origin by comparing with reference tests.

Dry weather had a bad effect on the horseradish, but mild winter can led to rapid and strong growth. Although horseradish is not very sensitive, the weather plays a major role, as with all natural products. Severe drought also leaves its mark on horseradish and is reflected in the harvest amount.

There are a total of 80 businesses in Styria, around 75 of these are members of the PGI association and thus produce genuine Styrian horseradish PGI. 40 of these businesses supply our company with their quality produce.

Unfortunately this is not yet possible. It is possible to measure the quantity of isothiocyanate, the chemical compound that is formed by the enzyme myrosinase from the glucosinolate “myrosinase” after the grating process and is then described by us as “horseradish spiciness”. But it has not so far been possible to explain under what circumstances we perceive horseradish as spicy.

One hectare of horseradish requires of our farmers around 1,000 working hours, most of which have to be done by hand. That is why our horseradish has earned its label: “hand-picked”.

This happens so that there is no damage to the skin of the horseradish, which could become discoloured later and lead it to spoil prematurely.

Our SteirerKren is harvested once in spring and again in late autumn.

We are happy to answer your questions.

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