The beet is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties like the red or purple root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet. However, other cultivated varieties include the leaf vegetables chard and spinach beet, as well as the root vegetables sugar beet, which is important in the production of table sugar, and mangelwurzel, which is a fodder crop. The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC. The plant was probably domesticated somewhere along the Mediterranean, whence it was later spread to Babylonia by the 8th century BC and as far east as China by 850 AD.
The major root vegetable cultivars include: "Albina Vereduna", a white variety, "Burpee's Golden", a beet with orange-red skin and yellow flesh, "Chioggia", an open-pollinated variety originally grown in Italy. The concentric rings of its red and white roots are visually striking when sliced. As a heritage variety, Chioggia is largely unimproved and has relatively high concentrations of geosmin. The "earthy" taste of some beetroot cultivars comes from the presence of geosmin. (source:wikipedia)
I simply love beetroot! Especially, this salad that you can keep about for 1 month in the fridge. It is done fast, especially if you use precooked beetroot, however I wouldn't recommend that. I was lucky to find different types of beetroot last weekend and I prepared the salad using a mixture of them. The result is just gorgeous, it has such a deep flavour, yet fresh! Actually, there is always a portion of the salad in the fridge during autumn and the whole winter. By the way, this is a family recipe.
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Cook beetroot, cook time depends on their size. Peel as long as they are warm and grate coarsely. Great horseradish fine, use as much as you like. Mix horseradish with sugar, salt and grated beetroot. Mix water with vinager, here also make it as sour as you like and add beetroot. It should not swim in the water-vinegar mixture. Cool.