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Crapaudine beets grow deep in the ground forming elongated roots, and their edible, leafy tops have a distinct, dark mulberry color. The beetroot itself has a unique tapered shape like a carrot, with dark, almost black, bark-like skin. The appearance of occasional rootlets or gnarled bumps is also commonly found on the surface of the thick skin. The flesh is firm, dense, and deep maroon, with concentric pale rings that are revealed when the root is sliced crosswise. When cooked, Crapaudine beets are tender with a strong earthy and sweet flavor.
Crapaudine beets are available year-round, with a peak season in the late fall through winter.
Crapaudine beets, botanically classified as Beta vulgaris var. crassa, are a rare, heirloom variety that is believed to be the oldest of the beet varieties, with records dating back over 1,000 years. Crapaudine beets are a biennial variety, requiring two years to reach maturity, and are native to France where it is also known as the Betterave Crapaudine and Rouge Crapaudine. When translated from French, Crapaudine means “female toad” in English due to the root's bumpy, rough appearance and thick, pocked skin. Crapaudine beets are primarily localized to Europe, difficult to find outside of local markets, and are favored by consumers for its dense, dark flesh and sweet, earthy flavor.
Crapaudine beets are a good source of folates, vitamin C and B6, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Crapaudine beets also contain betanin, which is a phytonutrient that gives the root its deep pigment and acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and detoxifier.
Crapaudine beets can be used much like any other variety of red beets and are utilized in both sweet and savory applications. The dark flesh of Crapaudine beets can stain the fingers, so gloves are recommended when preparing the beets. When cooked, Crapaudine beets can be roasted and pureed for use as-is and mixed into sauces, or they can be roasted, sliced and served with yellow-colored beets and soft cheeses like burrata or mozzarella for a colorful beet stack. Crapaudine beets can also be mixed with sautéed red cabbage as a side dish, cut into chunks and added to green salads with other bright seasonal colors like tangerines or pears, or steamed and served with seasonings and herbs. Crapaudine beets pair well with mangoes, cucumbers, endive, shallots, goat cheese, feta cheese, dill, salmon, shrimp, pistachios, lemon juice, vinegar, smoked salt, and smoked paprika. The roots will keep for a couple of weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Crapaudine beets can also be cooked and frozen for up to two months.
In England’s North Yorkshire, Crapaudine beets are a significant feature on the menu at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Black Swan. The beet variety is one of the main ingredients grown in the 2.5-acre farm behind the restaurant and pub. The Black Swan’s chef purees the Crapaudine beetroot and serves it with pigeon, spelt, and a pickled version of the heirloom beet. The Black Swan’s garden produces more beetroot than is needed for the restaurant, so a local produce company acts as a distributor, bringing the Crapaudine beets to other restaurants around the United Kingdom. Crapaudine beets are also commonly sold wood-roasted in the markets in France to deepen the earthy flavor and make them easily prepared for consumers.
Crapaudine beets are native to France and have been present in European kitchens since the time of Emperor Charlemagne, around the 9th century. The root was then introduced to the United States in the 1860s when a seed catalog listed it among its offerings. Today Crapaudine beets are a rare variety that is predominately found in Europe and are sometimes found through specialty farms in the United States. The beets are also sold through online seed catalogs for home garden use.
Recipes that include Crapaudine Beetroots. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Clean Dish||Creamy Beetroot Soup with Orange, Ginger and Coconut Milk|
|Jamie Oliver||Crunchy Raw Beetroot Salad with Feta and Pear|
|Inspired Home||Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Soup|
People have shared Crapaudine Beetroots using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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TurnipsNear London, England, United Kingdom
About 437 days ago, 11/13/19
Sharer's comments : Crapaudine beetroot at Turnips!!
Borough Market London
Borough market Turnips stallNear London, England, United Kingdom
About 637 days ago, 4/27/19
Sharer's comments : The Crapaudine beetroot grown in France..
Borough Market Turnips Stall
Turnips DistributingNear London, England, United Kingdom
About 640 days ago, 4/24/19
Sharer's comments : Two years to harvest Beetroot !