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I was absolutely DELIGHTED to find French breakfast radishes at my local grocery store the other day. My eyes had been on the look out for these radishes ever since I read about them in the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die. I almost did a cartwheel when I saw them! 😅
1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die
I am working my way through the foods that are listed in the book 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This is called my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project. Radis au Beurre, or red radishes with butter, is listed in the French section of the book and this is food #62 in my project.
In this book, the author Mimi Sheraton lists her choice for the 1,000 Foods of the World that you MUST try. So if you haven't tried these delightful red radishes before, please be sure to seek them out! You may stumble upon them at your local farmers market or even at your grocery store.
What Are French Breakfast Radishes?
French breakfast radishes, with their beautiful pink colors, are one of the most delightful radish varieties. They are typically long and slender, with a white tip on the end of the radish that extends to a long taproot.
A fresh radish will have a crisp texture, and they have a mild peppery flavor. The radish greens are also edible.
SpecialityProduce.com has a wonderful article on the French Breakfast Radish which also includes the nutritional value, applications, and geography and history of the French radishes for your enjoyment.
This article explains that these radishes are named "French breakfast radishes" because the English upper class enjoyed them for breakfast during the Victorian era. They were designated "French" because they originated in France.
So, it seems despite the name, the French do not eat these radishes for breakfast. Rather, they are commonly enjoyed as a delicious snack in France.
How Do The French Eat This Classic French Snack?
So now I will describe what I think is the perfect way to enjoy these raw radishes, as the French do. This method is written about in the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die book.
You will need the following ingredients:
- French breakfast radishes (if you can't find these, by all means feel free to use the standard radishes that we typically find in our US grocery stores called Cherry Belle)
- Butter - Ms. Sheraton's book recommends a creamy sweet butter. I used Président® Salted Butter bar. You can also select unsalted butter if you prefer.
- Coarse or flaky sea salt.
Begin by cutting off the leafy tops of the radishes, leaving just a small amount of the stem. Also cut off the tap root and wash and dry the radishes.
Use a knife (I used a cheese knife) and cut off some of the butter. Make a slice into the radish with your knife, leaving the butter behind. Honestly I wasn't able to do this perfectly cleanly but that's ok! Just dab whatever butter might be left on your knife into the cut in the radish.
Now sprinkle a little salt onto the butter. Close your eyes and take a bite. You'll truly be amazed at how incredible this combination is. It feels and tastes so decadent and if you're like me, you'll always eat raw radishes with butter and salt from now on!
I do hope you will enjoy Radis au Beurre at the earliest opportunity!
Watch me try French Breakfast Radishes for the first time!
The radish greens are edible! Try sautéing them in a little olive oil with your favorite spices.
An article from SpecialityProduce.com explains that these radishes are named "French breakfast radishes" because the English upper class enjoyed them for breakfast during the Victorian era. They were designated "French" because they originated in France.
First of all the combination is delicious! The butter is added to temper the slightly peppery bite of the radish, and along with salt is the perfect trio!
Some Other Foods You May Enjoy!
Here are some other foods of the world that you MUST try, as listed in the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die:
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French Breakfast Radishes With Butter
- 1 bunch French breakfast radishes
- creamy sweet butter can use salted or unsalted as you prefer; try to use the BEST quality butter that you can afford
- coarse sea salt
- Begin by cutting off the leafy tops of the radishes, leaving just a small amount of the stem. Also cut off the tap root and wash and dry the radishes.
- Use a knife (I used a cheese knife) and cut off some of the butter. Make a slice into the radish with your knife, leaving the butter behind. Honestly I wasn't able to do this perfectly cleanly but that's ok! Just dab whatever butter might be left on your knife into the cut in the radish.
- Now sprinkle a little salt onto the butter. Close your eyes and take a bite. Bon appetit!
As a french person, I confirm we don't have radishes for breakfast, but usually either as you said, as a snack, or for "apéro", that when we get some drinks before lunch or dinner. Kind of like an appetizer 🙂 Thanks for spreading the good word on radis au beurre !
Bon jour Aurore! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I'm overjoyed! Eating radis au beurre was an absolute revelation to me and I wish everyone knew about the French way of enjoying radishes. Merci! I wish you a wonderful day, Grace