Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a member of the cabbage family and is thought to have originated around 500 B.C. in the Mediterranean. It is one of five bitter herbs traditionally eaten during the Passover feast. In the 1600 and 1700s, Horseradish ale was a very popular drink throughout England and Germany. In the 1700s, German settlers introduced it to the U.S.
Fresh horseradish root is about 6 to 12-inches long with a 3-inch or so width. It is white in color, has a pungent smell and distinct spicy flavor. Many folks prefer prepared horseradish which can be found as white or red varieties at the market. White horseradish is preserved in vinegar, while red is preserved in beet juice.
Although you can find horseradish grown throughout the world, about 60 percent of the worldwide supply is grown in Illinois.