A Guide to Beet Varieties
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This is the variety that many people associate with the word “beet.” This type of beet is great for long-term storage. However, it may lose its tenderness over time but gain in sweetness. There are many uses for red beets, but they are especially good for roasting and in soups.
Avalanche is a variety of beets whose roots are not red but creamy-white. It has all the sweetness of red beets but without a hint of bitterness. The texture of this variety is crispy, and the taste is quite mild, which makes it ideal for slicing raw in salads. But also avalanche is tasty in stews and fried dishes. At the same time, it doesn’t leave any red spots on the hands and cutting board during cooking.
This variety has a pleasant golden color, and is not as sweet as the red beet and it tastes milder. It also has a less earthy flavor. Due to their color these beets are often used to decorate a dish, whether it’s a salad or a roast. You can safely add golden beets to the pan with other vegetables and not worry that all other ingredients will become red as with red beets.
Cylindra is a variety that has elongated cylindrical roots, hence the name. It’s good for pickling and canning. These beets have smooth skin, dark red flesh, and a sweet, slightly earthy flavor. Since the roots of this variety don’t take up much space, they are suitable for growing in a smaller garden.
These beets are naturally striped. The color of the stripes can be different — yellow and orange, or red and cream. You can cook these beets in the same way as red beets, but remember that these beautiful stripes can fade significantly during the cooking process or even disappear.
The roots of the Crosby Egyptian are slightly flattened in shape and sweet in taste. The green tops with red stems are delicious and are harvested young for salads. They can be also sautéed as mature greens. Crosby Egyptian is a cold-tolerant variety, so it’s excellent for growing in cold climates where the crop is harvested in early autumn.
Merlin is probably one of the sweetest varieties of red beets. It’s very crispy when raw and tender when cooked. The green tops of this variety are glossy and delicious too. Merlin is resistant to heat, cold, and disease.