Crapaudine Beetroot: A Chef’s Guide

What is a crapaudine beetroot?

The crapaudine beetroot is a heritage vegetable and one of the oldest varieties of beetroot. So old, in fact, that it dates back well over 1,000 years. Back then it was only found it France — where it originated — but it soon spread to kitchens around Europe.

Despite its age, it’s not a mainstream product today, and instead holds it place as a speciality produce enjoyed in fine dining restaurants around Europe and in the USA.

What do they look like?

crapaudine beetroot

The crapaudine beetroot takes its name from the French word ‘crapaud’, meaning toad, referring to the thick and bumpy exterior. Don’t let that put you off though. Once peeled, the crapaudine beetroot is a vibrant addition to all kinds of dishes.

It takes a shape similar to a parsnip and can grow to be pretty sizable, with the larger specimens sometimes weighing up to 500g.

Crapaudine beetroot season

Unlike other fine dining ingredients, such as the highly coveted truffles, the crapaudine has a much longer season. It’s available through most of autumn, winter and spring; from late September through until May.

It’s a great purchase for any kitchen as, when stored properly at a cool temperature, they can last for weeks. In fact, the longer you store the crapaudine beetroot, the sweeter it gets.

How should you use it?

This particular variety retains the traditional beetroot traits; the strong flavour and supple texture as well as the deep, red hue. This means that it has the potential to add exquisite presentation value to your plate.

Not only this, but the nutritional benefits of this vegetable are pretty outstanding, as it’s a great source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, magnesium and fibre.

As a natural sweetener, the crapaudine beetroot falls easily into dessert recipes. Whether paired with cheese for a symphony of flavour or used as a base ingredient in a cake.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work well on savoury dishes though. As with all other variations of beetroot, the crapaudine can be roasted or eaten raw. The earthy flavour means they work great as a purée, sauce or soup, but they’re also fantastic in salads, where the young leaves can also be added for a fresh twist.

This beetroot is a fantastic companion to a meat-based main course, or a bright addition to a side salad. It also works wonderfully as the main event for all kinds of vegetarian and vegan dishes thanks to the exceptional flavour it provides.

Sourcing crapaudine beetroot

Chefs can purchase this exquisite ingredient directly from us. We pride ourselves on sourcing the highest quality produce, and the crapaudine beetroot is no exception. Our buyers in Rungis Market source the pick of the crop as soon as it comes into season.

Why not add some colour to your menu? Contact our team and become a First Choice customer today.

Mark Flint

Mark has almost a decade of experience in the marketing world, with most of those spent working in the food industry. After driving digital marketing at one of the industry's largest food suppliers, Mark now supports First Choice with all their website content.