This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The New York Tribune says that last year was the first that the dark red Egyptian beet was grown to any extent by gardeners near New York, and the results were so favorable, that those who can get enough seed will sow nothing else for an early beet this spring. With market gardeners this beet is a great favorite, and it will with them supersede the early blood turnip. The Egyptian is, at least, twelve days earlier; it can be prepared for market with one third the labor usually bestowed on the blood turnip, and last year the dark Egyptian brought twenty-five cents per dozen bunches more than any other variety of early beet in the market at the same time. The writer sowed the two varieties along side of each other, and watched the growth closely, giving both the same treatment, and the Egyptian came out as stated. At first there did not seem to be much difference in the growth. But just as soon as they began to make roots, the Egyptian took the lead and kept it.
There are hardly any small roots on this new beet when fall grown, and therefore they require no trimming, can cut just as fast as pulled, be thrown into the wash tub and washed and bunched. With the other varieties of early beets that are grown for market, it takes just as long a time to trim off the small roots as it does to bunch, so that when the Egyptian is grown, all of this labor is saved, which is an important item with the active market gardener.
In quality, the dark red Egyptian is fully equal to the early blood turnip, or any other variety that is commonly grown for market. Until now, the early Bassano stood first on the list for home use, both for earliness and quality. Last year the writer missed sowing any seed of this variety, but will do so this season for the purpose of ascertaining how it compared in earliness and quality with the Egyptian. The Bassano will not sell in market, owing to its light color. But it has always been a popular table variety for home consumption.