The origin of Radishes is most likely China, and they have been cultivated since 2700 BC. Radish crops spread through to Europe in the 1500s. However, some scientists tentatively locate the origin of Raphanus sativus in South-East Asia, as this is the only region where truly wild forms have been discovered. India, central China, and Central Asia appear to have been secondary centers where differing forms were developed. It may sound strange but Radishes along with onions and garlic were paid as ‘wages’ to the Ancient Egyptian laborer’s who built the Pyramids. Ancient Egyptians also used Radish oil in their diet before olive oil was discovered. In Ancient Greece gold replicas of Radishes were offered to the God Apollo. Radish crop reached US by 1629. Currently California and Florida boast the biggest crops in the US.
A crispy, peppery Radish is the perfect springtime finger food and adds a tasty crunch to our salads. Besides, they appear in many European dishes. Radish leaves are sometimes used in recipes, like potato soup or as a sautéed side dish. They are also found blended with fruit juices in some recipes.
In Mexico, the annual night of the Radishes festival takes place on December 23 prior to Christmas Eve. Mexican sculptors create great scenes using very large Radishes.