21 Days to Breakfast

radish May 23, 2023

Seed to soil to paper to toast...

The French breakfast radish is the sign that spring is fully underway, that we will soon be enjoying the full abundance that the garden will offer. It is also my favorite of all radishes, I think (although by the time I am eating watermelon radishes later in the year, I might argue that with myself).  

They are so elegantly shaped, and they grow right out of the soil announcing that they are indeed ready to become the best first meal from the garden, radish on toast. And all of this happens within a few weeks time – from the moment the seeds are dropped into the soil, to the moment I bite into the perfectly crunchy, mildly spicy, gorgeously pink first radish of the season, less than a month has gone by. 

And once I have had a moment to savor that long awaited perfect toast, I am immediately distracted, again, and want to start sketching them, and painting them. I do it every year, and I never get tired of them as a subject. 

This year was no different. And this year, they are particularly perfect. I hope you will find yourself some of these spring beauties, and that you savor them. 


Oh, and for those of you who’d also like a bite of botany, or a bit of history with your breakfast:

Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphinus
Species: Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus

The species, Raphanus raphanistrum is the wild radish. The subspecies, R.raphanistrum subsp. Sativus is the one that has been cultivated as a food crop, and there are a lot of different varieties, including the French breakfast radish, which apparently did not get its name from the French, but rather from Victorian England when they were enjoyed by the upper class as a mild breakfast food, so they named them after the French (where the radishes came from.