Black radishes

Maybe somewhere around the time I was 10 my grandfather told me that he used to eat black radishes with butter. “Black radishes as big as your head.” There were a number of things that I didn’t like or found disturbing about my grandfather (I mean, he was a loving person and everything but difficult in many ways) but the idea of giant black radishes was just way out of my comfort zone and eating them was out of the question. He had failed to mention that the inside was white like any other radish so I’d imagined giant black I-don’t-even-know-what slathered with butter.

Now, as an adult who will eat almost anything, and one who likes radishes, I have embraced the idea if not the practice. Until 2 weeks ago when I, to my surprise, found them at the Milwaukee Winter Market. They were not as big as my head and I wasn’t going to try them with butter (although I would). I bought one thinking I’d get more later if I liked them and then I pickled it. I sliced it very thin with a mandoline and used my regular pickling brine. Two days later I tasted them. OMG. So good. In fact, so good that I ate the entire jar in less than 5 days and rushed back last weekend to load up only to discover the black radish guy was not there.

I’m going again tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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