Like many plants, beets appeared in our latitudes thanks to merchants who brought wild beet seeds from the East and India to Babylon, and then to Ancient Rome and Greece. By the way, originally people ate beetroot, or Swiss chard. It is still cultivated as a vegetable plant. The root of chard grows no thicker than 2-3 cm, but its leaves are very large and juicy.
Beets came to Russia from Byzantium in the 10th century, and the name of the root crop was also borrowed from there: the Russian word for beet comes from the Greek sfekeli. By the way, beets gave rise to a whole line of soups. There is only one common feature that makes it possible to call the soup borscht - the presence of beets in it.
Fodder beets were bred in Germany, it is interesting that it differs from ordinary beets only in the high content of clove.
Sugar beet appeared after a number of selections only in 1747, and the sugar content in it reached 20 percent. This happened with the light hand of Napoleon Bonaparte, who did not like that sugar dealers brought in from overseas.
Since the 18th century, sugar in Russia began to be made from sugar beets, completely abandoning imported sugar cane.
Today, beetroot powder is used as a colorant in the food industry. It is often found in ketchup and tomato sauces.
It is believed that the more intensely the pulp is colored, the more vitamin C and mineral salts it contains.
To preserve all the nutritional properties and color of beets, they are cooked without peeling. It can be easily removed from the finished root vegetable if left in cold water. Also, during cooking, you should not cut off the tail.
Beets do not lose their beneficial properties even after long-term storage.
The heaviest beet in the world weighed 23.4 kg and was grown in Somerset in 2001.
One of the oldest known benefits of beetroot is that it was used as an aphrodisiac during the Roman era.
Due to its unpretentiousness and plasticity, it is cultivated everywhere from south to north, even in Yakutia, Sakhalin and Magadan regions.
To date, more than 70 varieties and hybrids of beets have been zoned, differing in yield, early maturity and appearance of plants.