Three of the most important things we look for in a vegetable are, adaptability to our climate, flavor, and how easily it can be stored or processed. It is always a pleasant surprise to find a new variety that meets all of these criterion. And so it is that after over four months in storage I can now say that, what was originally grown as a novelty, the Red Crapaudine beet we seeded in early 2010 does indeed seem to easily attain all of these standards.
This is a particularly old variety of beet, possibly one of the oldest beets in existence today...from what I've read, and has rather an unusual thick bark like skin, almost black, that will reportedly help it to over winter right in the garden, even in cooler climates. The Crapaudine also manages to stay under the soil rather than popping up like so many other cylindrical shaped beets tend to do. It will be interesting to put a few to the test this year and see whether or not they really can handle our winter conditions.
Crapaudine's have green foliage and a bright red interior with an earthy sweet essence that I really enjoy both raw and cooked...a very nice all around vegetable. As far as proportion goes they are similar in stature to a medium carrot and the ones we grew last year did vary quite a bit in size, definitely not the biggest beet in town. Because of their shape they would probably grow best in a loose friable soil or anywhere a carrot or parsnip thrives. We are looking forward to growing these old world beets for many more years to come.
So... Let's Eat Some Beets