Didn’t get your horseradish fix over Passover this year? Neither did we!
So we’re spicing up Spring with two products that have stories rooted in familial tradition. And we dug up more reasons to love this stuff in addition to using it as a recipe changer. Trust us, this versatile condiment goes way beyond gefilte fish.
Quit horsing around with standard hot sauce – horseradish boasts tons of health benefits that other condiments simply can’t compete with. Did you know it is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and has more vitamin C than oranges?
Spring hayfever getting to you yet? The roots’ mustard oil, which is responsible for the tear-inducing pungency, can help clear your sinuses. In fact, try grating up raw roots at home and it’ll be so pungent that you’d better wear a mask! Lucky for you, you won’t have to.
We found two unique artisanal products with big flavors, including a few that were totally unexpected. And we love them both so much that we couldn’t chose which one to profile.
ISH Premium Horseradish
ISH sources their horseradish roots from California and Illinois- areas with soil chockfull of potassium (ideal for growing). With unique flavor add-ins, their product goes “beyond horseradish”; it makes the perfect garnish (they suggest the beet-flavored horseradish with fresh cucumber yogurt dip) or a full-bodied game-changer for mains (try their citrus version atop grilled fish). And it’s all made in the Hudson Valley!
The company’s roots are just as likable as the product itself. Carolyn Sherman Gutierrez’ father casually played around with recipes over 30 years ago to make the freshest, most delicious Passover horseradish for family and friends. They went wild over the taste and before he knew it, he was whipping up hundreds of jars for hungry fans. Today, Carolyn’s taken over, launching a booming business selling four distinctive flavors nationwide in stores and online.
Liz got her hands on each of the flavors for some afternoon taste testing with Carolyn in NYC last week. She reported being thoroughly wow’ed by the imaginative flavors and Carolyn’s willingness to shlep a generous tasting set-up in a cooler bag across Central Park. NICE!
Beet: Their original and most popular flavor had the expected horseradish kick with distinctive flavor of earthy beets. This was the mildest and most traditional of the four flavors. We alternated bites of rich, creamy brie layered with thin slices of cucumber for a gluten-free treat. Serve this hot fuchsia puree atop slices of roasted chicken or whipped into deviled eggs for a little extra heat.
Citrus: Made with freshly squeezed oranges & lemons with the zest of both used to heighten the bright sunny notes, the citrus flavor makes an exciting accompaniment to grilled fish or stir-fry veggies. This flavor was the hottest of the four but with citrus notes at the front, Carolyn told Liz that kids love this one the best when they taste test at Smorgasburg, the Brooklyn Flea outdoor food paradise (plenty of veg options, yes!). Liz has plans to add this citrusy heat to her guacamole ASAP.
Scroll down for ISH’s recipe for Smoked Salmon Mousse-ISH- the perfect summer spread for crackers, chips, and any and all raw veggies. Chill the vino and you’ll be all set.
Garlic: This flavor surprised Liz as the most subtle. The horseradish flavor is up front with mild, delicious garlic notes at the finish. Dab this onto baked potatoes or mix with sour cream or mayo and dip fries into a ramekin full. Liz plans on testing it out in a marinade for grilled chicken as she’s getting ready for BBQ season. Stir this flavor or citrus into a tall glass of Bloody Mary and you’ll know summer has arrived with a wink and a twist.
Ginger: The Asian cooking connection was irresistible. This flavor makes a great addition to your marinade for any protein heading to the wok or grill. Or slather it on straight up. Carolyn adds this boldly ginger flavored horseradish to her morning smoothies.
ISH is made with all kosher ingredients but does not have a kosher cert.
One taste of their horseradish can elicit a reaction sounding similar to their name – in a good way. Holy Schmitt’s homegrown horseradish is made from fresh roots grown right on their fourth-generation farm on Long Island’s East End.
Co-owner Matt Schmitt stays true to his great-grandfather’s secret family recipe and washes, peels, grates and mixes the root all by hand (again, sparing us the masks!). The result: a fresh, hot sensory punch that comes in seven unique flavors.
Liz bought them all at the Union Square Market, NYC, and enlisted the whole family to taste with her.
Barbeque: The BBQ horseradish was nice and smoky and would make a great addition to anything you throw on the grill. But you’ve gotta like smokey flavors. Not our favorite.
Beet: This flavor offers the same jolt of spice balanced with pleasant sweetness from the beets. It’s bold flavor would take a simple goat cheese salad or classic latkes to a new level. Grab this one when you want traditional flavor.
Mustard: Perfect to swap in for an invigorating sandwich spread. Add it to mayo or use it straight up (it even has a mustard-like consistency) on turkey or meatloaf sandwiches, or toss it into egg or chicken salad for mustardy heat. Flecks of mustard seed were visible. One of Liz’ kids packed the open jar and shlepped it back to the city with her. This was one of the two group favorites.
Hot pepper: Curiously, this was not as spicy as we anticipated. Flecks of jalepeno pepper added an interesting juxtaposition to the horseradish. Add it to plain salsa or alongside scrambled eggs. Paint a stripe of this one along your tortilla, add chicken or cheese, thinly sliced onions and chopped tomatoes and you’ll be set.
Cranberry: Visible flecks of ruby red cranberry bits were at the root of this one being the sweetest of the bunch. Surprise your Thanksgiving guests with this unexpected condiment or pair it with a creamy cheese and chilled cuke slices on the beach this summer.
Original: They’ve got the classic, pungent pure horseradish down. Blend it into hummus or pair with almost any protein you’re serving for Shabbat dinner.
Cocktail Sauce horseradish : We loved this one and oooh’ed over it’s orange cocktail sauce hue. Throw it into Bloody Mary’s or top any fish- any way- with this one. This was our other favorite.
Don’t just take our word for it – head over to their farm yourself for some free sampling or purchase directly via their website. You can also pick some up at the Union Square Farmers’ Markets – stay connected with them via social media to check out when!
We can’t wait to try their new seasonal flavors including strawberry this summer and apple and/or pumpkin for the fall. And be sure to check out their pickles and pickled beets to add some tangy crunch in your springtime recipes.
Holy Schmitt is certified kosher- K
So tell us- Do you eat horseradish all year or just on Passover? Which of these flavors are you most likely to try out in your own kitchen?
This recipe comes from Carolyn Sherman Gutierrez, creator and owner of ISH Horseradishes.
Here's what she had to say about this spread, " Smoked salmon with ISH is delicious on its own. But if you want to dress it up or create a different type of appetizer, you'll wow them with this."
Best to make this 10-12 hours before serving, if possible.
This recipe is dairy.
- 8 oz. smoked salmon- cut into pieces (not necessary to cut too small)
- 8 oz. cream cheese (brick)
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 3-4 Tb. ginger or citrus ISH horseradish
- 2 1/2 Tb. minced scallion
- 4 Tb. fresh dill (rough chopped)
- fresh lemon juice (3/4 of a lemon or more, to taste)
- Place smoked salmon in food processor and chop until it appears minced.
- Add cream cheese and process further.
- When thoroughly blended, add mascarpone and process again.
- Add ISH horseradish, scallion and dill and blend until combined.
- Add fresh lemon juice and blend until smooth.
Serve this spread at room temperature with crackers, sliced French bread, thick cut potato chips or on sliced cukes.