Baltimore is home to one of the nation's largest commercial horseradish packers, Tulkoff Products Co. In a telephone converastion, Lee Rome, the CEO of Tulkoff's, agreed that some roots are hotter than others and said it was common to make horseradish from a variety of roots. At Tulkoff's East Baltimore plant, the fiery roots of horseradish plants grown in Northern California are sometimes blended with the sweeter roots of Southern Illinois horseradish plants, he said. Rome, the horseradish hotshot, told me that if I wanted to make a good sauce, I needed some spicier roots.
Mercier, in the Lexington Market, told me not to be discouraged with my bland harvest. The horseradish plants will be back next year, he said. As a matter of fact, it is very hard to get rid of them, he added.