It’s All About Taste

Raymond Blanc over at his Manor (sorry, Le Manoir) in Oxfordshire is very picky about what he grows in his kitchen garden apparently. He’s not too bothered about how things look, all he’s interested in is the taste and texture. I suppose that’s just what chefs do but we should all be a little bit selfish when it comes to planting varieties that taste good, because after all that’s what we grow it for – to eat it. I sometimes lose sight of that in the rush to try the latest variety of striped tomato, the quickest growing lettuce, or the most carrotfly-resistant carrot. But it should be all about the taste and my recent radish harvest brought that home to me. I had planted two varieties, your bog-standard Scarlet Globe, and the temptingly two-tone Sparkler. As you know, radish is stupidly easy to grow (barring the flea beetle) so there was no surprise when a perfect crop emerged for both varieties. Texture-wise Scarlet Globe was just a little bit smoother than the other and its taste too was a little bit fresher. Admittedly there wasn’t much in it but now that I know one is superior I’ll just be sowing that one next time.

6 Comments on “It’s All About Taste

  1. I have never been a big fan of radish until I grew my own last year and now I am hooked. Thanks for sharing this information about the different varieties. I am going to grow radish with my gardening club at the school I work at and will make sure that we grow the variety that you recommend. The photo is great by the way. Thanks again for sharing.

    Sara from farmingfriends in Yorkshire.

  2. Hehe we were protesting outside his place yesterday… :) He sells Foie Gras which is pretty awful food (for those of you who don’t know) which involves force feeding ducks and geese until their livers become diseased, they are then slaughtered and their livers are eaten with a bottle of Chianti – thuthuthuthututhututhut.

    More info at

  3. Hi Obese Vegan – thanks for the heads up on Monsieur Blanc’s despicable activities.

    I’m so thankful for animal rights activists because someone has to do it and frankly I couldn’t – the things that I found out would upset me too much. In truth I’m scared to click on your link in case there are horrible photos (I know I can’t stick my head in the sand, I know, I know!).

    I used to be a member of the League Against Cruel Sports (well – when I say a member, what actually happened was I sat in my comfy armchair while my bank sent them money each month). But when it came to renewal I couldn’t do it because that meant opening the package with the magazine with the horrible photos in it. I’m a sensitive soul.

    So now the only people I can bare to help are the local cats & dogs home who are very helpful and only send me a magazine once a month full of nice stories about dogs named Patch and cats called Fluffy who found new loving homes and lived happily ever after.

    Maybe you should create a website where people can give money to worthy animal charities that only ever displays pictures of flowers and wide-eyed kittens? The market is wide open and I’d be your first customer!

  4. Hey Sara, I’m not a big radish fan either but after reading this I will be off to the shops at lunch to buy some seeds! Sheesh more work.

  5. Radish are a bit of a luxury I think. They’re the kind of thing that you wouldn’t dream of buying (like cress) – but when you grow them they seem indispensable. I think we should start a Radish Appreciation Society. Who’s in?

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