Exploring the Different Varieties of Beets and Their Unique Flavors

Beets are a versatile and nutritious root vegetable that come in various shapes, colors, and sizes. Each beet variety offers a slightly different flavor and texture, making them a great addition to your culinary repertoire. Here’s an exploration of different beet varieties and their unique flavors:

  1. Red Beets (Beta vulgaris var. rubra):

    • Red beets are the most common and readily available beet variety.
    • Flavor: They have a sweet, earthy flavor with a slightly nutty undertone. The earthiness can become more pronounced when they’re roasted.
  2. Golden Beets:

    • Golden beets have a vibrant yellow or orange color.
    • Flavor: They are sweeter and milder than red beets, with a less earthy taste. Some describe their flavor as having a subtle, citrusy note.
  3. Chioggia Beets (Candy Cane Beets):

    • Chioggia beets have striking red and white rings when sliced.
    • Flavor: They are mild and slightly sweet, with a tender texture. Their appearance makes them a popular choice for salads.
  4. Cylindra Beets:

    • Cylindra beets are elongated and cylindrical in shape.
    • Flavor: They have a sweet, less earthy flavor and a tender, less fibrous texture. Their shape is ideal for slicing into uniform rounds.
  5. Baby Beets:

    • Baby beets are harvested when they are small, often no larger than a golf ball.
    • Flavor: They tend to be very sweet and tender, with a milder earthy taste. They are excellent for salads and pickling.
  6. White Beets:

    • White beets, as the name suggests, are white or pale cream in color.
    • Flavor: They have a mild, sweet flavor with less earthiness. They are a great choice if you want to enjoy beets without the intense color.
  7. Bull’s Blood Beets:

    • Bull’s Blood beets are known for their deep red-purple foliage.
    • Flavor: The roots have a sweet, earthy flavor similar to red beets, but they are often grown for their striking leaves, which are used in salads and garnishes.
  8. Avalanche Beets:

    • Avalanche beets are white or pale cream on the outside and have a vibrant, pinkish interior.
    • Flavor: They offer a balanced flavor with the sweetness of white beets and a touch of earthiness from the pink interior.
  9. Detroit Dark Red Beets:

    • Detroit Dark Red beets are a classic variety with deep red, globe-shaped roots.
    • Flavor: They have a rich, sweet flavor with a pronounced earthiness. This variety is excellent for both cooking and pickling.
  10. Albino Beets:

  • Albino beets are completely white, inside and out.
  • Flavor: They have a mild, sweet taste with none of the typical earthy undertones found in other beet varieties.

When cooking or preparing beets, consider the variety’s unique flavor profile to create dishes that highlight their distinct tastes. Beets can be enjoyed roasted, boiled, pickled, or grated raw in salads, and they pair well with a variety of other ingredients, including goat cheese, citrus, and herbs. Experiment with different beet varieties to discover your favorite ways to enjoy this versatile root vegetable.

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