The food world is finally catching on to what Steve Gold has been saying for years. Horseradish is a superfood.
In addition to its incredible earthy and sweet flavor, horseradish is full of health benefits ranging from cancer prevention (horseradish has ten times more cancer-fighting compounds than broccoli!), to respiratory and headache relief. Horseradish has been used for medicinal purposes for years, yet the research on horseradish has become more established and well-known in recent years, while the Gold family has been touting the benefits of horseradish since 1932.
Horseradish is creeping up in produce sections throughout the USA, as the demand for horseradish is increasing and will continue to increase in the coming years.
Steve Gold’s grandparents started the horseradish business during the depression as a way to make some money in hard times. Everything was done at home, including the paste/glue used to stick the labels onto the bottles. Gold’s has remained a family business, in fact, probably one of the only businesses that is now going into the fourth generation, and is still producing the same recipe as the original. They are producing substantially more than their grandparents had in the 1930’s and have the advantage of 21st century machinery, yet their success lies in maintaining the high-quality standards and using farm-fresh, high-quality ingredients.
On a visit to the factory, I witnessed first-hand why Gold’s is so successful and what they do and why we use their products in our test kitchens. The factory is spotless; the entire tour has a fresh and clean feel. While waiting for Steve, I noticed an impressive amount of articles and awards hanging at the entrance of the factory. I was curious which one Steve valued the most and so I asked him what his greatest award and accomplishment was. Steve responded, “Getting letters from customers that say they enjoyed our products.” This highlights why they are successful. At the end of the day, Steve’s utmost concern is the customer’s satisfaction.
The greatest challenge is figuring out the right balance when sending out the products. The horseradish is a perishable item and has no preservatives. This makes it a fresh and high-quality product. But the downside is that if left on the shelf for too long, it can go bad and that is Steve’s worst nightmare. In fact, Gold’s uses glass containers versus plastic to ensure a fresher, better-tasting product. This is what inspired Gold’s to branch out into shelf-stable condiments and sauces such as a variety of mustards, cocktail sauce, borscht and the most awesome barbecue sauce. All the recipes are tested and retested until perfected at the Gold’s factory. In fact, Gold’s is now in the process of developing a teriyaki sauce. The challenge lies in creating a teriyaki sauce with all kosher for Passover ingredients.
Steve took us (myself and Jamie, and Chana Blumes, the photographer) on a tour of the factory floor and it was a truly fascinating tour. Pallets of horseradish and beets line the warehouse. Special machines clean the horseradish and beets and there are red floods of water on the warehouse floor. There is a special room in which the horseradish and beets are ground up. Anyone working in the ‘horseradish room’ is given a gas mask (the same one given to Israelis during wartime) for protection against the strong fumes of the horseradish. Chana courageously went into the room, sans gas mask, to shoot the horseradish and came out in tears.
As we were witnessing the beet horseradish being bottled, we noticed Melissa, Steve’s daughter standing on the line, placing jars in boxes. “One of the workers needed a break, so Melissa is taking his place,” explained Steve. Talk about work ethic! Steve told us how Melissa works from 5 a.m. until closing, and that everyone who works at Gold’s is ready to do whatever it takes to make it a success. This also got us talking about the workers and it was so inspiring to hear their attitude towards their workers. Workers are given health benefits, sick days and there is a general attitude of care and empathy for their employees.
On our tour, we met the mashgiach, the kashrut supervisor, who gushed about the cleanliness of the Gold’s factory. “The pipes are cleaned every night and the attention to detail makes my job really easy,” says the mashgiach. “We once had to throw out thousands of dollars worth of products due to kashrut concerns, and the Golds did it all with grace and complete honesty.” High-quality products, good work ethic and a respect for customers and workers are what make this company so unique.
Steve Gold’s top uses for horseradish:
- Scrambled eggs
- Tuna salad
- A tablespoon in chicken soup
- Salad dressings
- Mashed potatoes
What would you use horseradish for? Let us know in the comments below.