Night of Radishes – A Oaxacan Tradition

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Night of the radishes, Noche de rabanas, Oaxaca City, Mexico, food festival

The Night of Radishes (Noche De Rábanas) begins tonight, December 23rd, in Oaxaca, one of the most colorful cities of Mexico. The Night of Radishes is now in its 116th year. That is some longevity for celebrating his one little root vegetable! Every year hundreds of participants gather for one of the world’s most impressive vegetable festivals in the zócalo (main square) to celebrate the radish.

I just love food festivals like the Night of Radishes because individual food celebrations are in a class of their own. When you go to a festival that is focused, you can expect to be gifted with an entirely new perspective on that food’s uses, flavor combinations and beauty. I highly recommend if you have never made it to a “insert food item here” festival that you get it on a calendar for 2014 now. You won’t regret it.

What You Could Expect at the Night of Radishes

Artisans compete with their elaborate scenes carved from radishes; nativity scenes, religious icons, Ballet Folklorico figures, replicas of famous buildings, saints. The festival is just the kick-off for three days of celebration that continues on through Christmas day with parades, dancing, music and fireworks.

Night of the radishes, Noche de rabanas, Oaxaca City, Mexico, food festival

A Radish Recipe to try…

Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Tacos With Cabbage and Radish Slaw


Serves 6| Hands-On Time: 30m| Total Time: 8hr 30m


3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 to 3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotles in adobo sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 bay leaves

kosher salt

4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (about 1⁄3 medium cabbage)

4 radishes, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

12 6-inch corn tortillas

sour cream, pickled jalapeño peppers, and hot sauce, for serving


In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, toss together the beef, onion, garlic, chipotles, oregano, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Cover and cook until the beef is very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 ½ to 4 hours (this will shorten total cooking time).

Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, radishes, cilantro, lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake until warm, 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the beef to a medium bowl (reserve the cooking liquid) and shred, using 2 forks. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl with the beef and toss to combine.

Fill the tortillas with the beef and slaw. Serve with the sour cream, jalapeños, hot sauce, and lime wedges.

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