Giants of Aspern

Ark of taste
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Riesen von Aspern

Riesen von AspernOnce typical for the Austrian radish cultivation, today large-rooted varieties play a minor role in the radish cultivation: one of those is the carmine colored “Riesen von Aspern” (“Riesen” is the German word for giants while “Aspern” refers to a part of Vienna where they are grown). The average diameter of the bulbs is 4-4,5 cm (~1,7 inch), some even reach 6 cm (~2.4 inch). Nevertheless, the white flesh is very tender and has a high resistance to pithiness. It is juicy with a modestly peppery flavor. It is possibly the largest crispy radish, it can be used as catch crop and is perfectly suited for early outdoor cultivation. It’s hard to determine the exact age of the breed: according to the Viennese gardeners and the “LGV-Frischgemüse Wien” (cooperative of vegetable growers) it has been grown and sold for about 100 years. The breed was first registered in the “Reichssortenliste” (a list of breeds) in 1939/40, according to Erich Göttfried from the “Austrosaat”-company. In 1951, it was registered with the Austrian list of breeds. Today it is, apart from some Viennese nurseries, mostly grown by hobby gardeners. It is registered with the Austrian list for rare agricultural crops of the ministry of agriculture. The “Riesen von Aspern” are grown from seeds propagated and harvested by the gardeners themselves, a technique that can be rarely found in professional modern market gardening. This guarantees the special quality of the old and endangered breed. They are only available for four to five weeks a year and are recognized as Viennese specialty by vegetable connoisseurs. They are currently cultivated in Vienna and in Eastern Austria.

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