How can I tell whether beetroot is still edible?
I have some raw beetroot I bought about a week ago, having stored them at room temperature since. It's the first time I bought it raw, and I'm unsure whether it's still edible.
It is already soft, and when I cut it, it smells... Well, different than I expected. It's not a rotten smell as such, but it's nothing like the sweet beet-rooty smell I know from the pre-packaged, pre-boiled supermarket variety.
How can I tell whether it's still safe to eat?
Once removed from the ground beetroot instantly becomes inedible - I don't know how anybody can eat the stuff!!
Generally, raw beetroot shouldn't become soft. The thing is that there are differing definitions of soft. If it is soft like a tomato is, then it has probably spoiled. If, on the other hand, it is still firm but has little "give" to it, then it's probably alright to eat.
It is the cooking that softens it up, though it can be eaten raw. I grate some raw beetroot into salads and stuff occasionaly, just for fun.
I'm not sure what to say about the smell thing. I think that raw beetroot generally smells a little earthy, especially if you haven't peeled it yet. The very distinct beetroot smell is usually released by cooking.
Obviously this is all a bit vague, as we can't send smells over the net yet.
This gives me something to go by - I'll have to use my judgement now to make the call. It is still firm, feels a bit like a tennis ball with a soft surface, so I tend to think it's okay. Also good to know it can be eaten raw (as opposed to beans etc.) Thanks!
You could compare the texture to a root vegetable you're more familiar with, like a carrot. If you'd think the carrot was alright to eat, the beetroot probably is too.