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.