Pale Horseradish, Pale Diner

There'll be a hot time in the old town when Collinsville hosts the 13th annual International Horseradish Festival

The 30 or so farms in southern Madison and northern St. Clair, Ill., counties make more of the stuff than any other single region. The potash-rich soil and mild weather of the Midwest give the horseradish just what it needs to thrive.

"News of the Weird" not long ago reported the story of a pair of Israeli brothers engaged in a pepper-eating contest. The challenge ended when one of them blew a hole through the wall of his small intestine. Pickled horseradish, consumed in moderation, can only boost the constitution. In the words of the 80-year-old Keller, "a lot of people say horseradish is too hot, so I say eat a little bit but eat it often."

The International Horseradish Festival takes place from 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. June 3 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 4 in Woodland Park, Pine Lake Road and Highway 159, Collinsville, Ill. Call 618-344-2884 for more info.

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