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Shiraz beets are a large beet variety that have a very dark burgundy to red outer skin. Shiraz beets are round, ranging 7 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and are known for their smooth skin and uniform shape. Its flesh is ruby red and is crunchy, slippery, and firm. Shiraz beets offer a complexity of flavor with sweet, herbaceous and earthy tones. The Shiraz beet also produces substantial beet tops, 25-30 centimeters in height, which are edible greens that offer a mild green flavor.
Shiraz beets are available year-round with peak seasons in the summer and winter.
The Shiraz beet, botanically classified as Beta vulgaris, is a hybrid variety that was created to resist disease, maintain a pleasing shape, and enhance flavor in the greens and root. Both the root and greens can be consumed making this a dual-purpose vegetable.
Shiraz beets are high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and sugar and contains traces of magnesium and manganese.
Shiraz beet roots can be consumed raw or roasted, boiled, and canned. Shiraz beets pair well with citrus flavors, caramelized onions, and cheeses like feta and gorgonzola. Both the root and leaves make flavorful additions to salads, both cooked or raw. Shiraz beets store well when refrigerated and kept dry. The greens are best stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag to retain moisture.
Shiraz beets are an example of hybrid varieties that are created to meet changing market demand in the United States. In an effort to create a more disease resistant crop, Shiraz beets display some of the strongest traits of hybrid table beets and are aesthetically pleasing to be more marketable for consumer purchase.
Shiraz beets were created in the United States in the early 2000s from a collaboration between the Organic Seed Alliance, John Navazio, and Steve Peters. The goal of this collaboration was to create a better table beet for organic cultivation. Shiraz beets took about five years of breeding to be perfected and it is believed to have been bred from the Crosby Greentop and Greentop Bunching variety.
Recipes that include Shiraz Beets. One is easiest, three is harder.
|He Needs Food||Beet, Caramelised Onion & Gorgonzola Flat Pies|
|About.com||Balsamic Barbecued Beets|
|Lazy Cat Kitchen||Beet Wellington with balsamic reduction|
|Girl Gone Gourmet||Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets|
People have spotted Shiraz Beets using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.