All About: Carrots

carrots.jpg
I took this image at the Dupont Farmer’s Market this past weekend. The carrots are from Twin Springs Fruit Farm up in Pennsylvania.

As a forward, I must admit that I think carrots are one of the most underrated vegetables out there… Commonly thought of as just one third of mirepoix, it seems carrots seldomly get the spotlight, though (especially at this time of the year) they deserve it!

1. Carrots are a member of the parsley family (who knew!). Makes sense if you look at their loosely leafy tops and are a root vegetable – meaning the part we eat (most of the time) is actually grown in the ground.

2. Around for over 2,000 years, carrots are known for their health-giving properties and uber-high vitamin A content which our bodies convert from the beta carotene.

3. The best tasting carrots come from harvests that occur once the weather has turned cold or there has been a light frost. The cold temperatures increase the sugar content in the carrot making it much tastier.

4. Tipping the scales at just under 19 pounds, the world’s largest carrot was grown in 1998 in Alaska.

5. The city of Holtville, California promotes itself as “Carrot Capital of the World”, and holds an annual festival devoted entirely to the carrot.

6. Though carrots are usually orange, many different varieties including the Beta Sweet or Maroon Carrot have been developed. Though these “purple carrots” are beautiful to look at raw, once cooked, they lose most of their purple color and taste the same as most orange varieties.

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Image taken at the Jean Talon Market in Montreal this summer.

Comment below or send your favorite carrot recipes to sarah@hautepapier.com

2 Comments

Filed under Food, Gardening

2 responses to “All About: Carrots

  1. Ashley

    Thanks for the history… I love carrots too!

    My favorite preparation for them is to melt just a little butter in a pan then throw in the carrots and half a cup of water and saute them for a few minutes. Then I sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper and sugar.

    I let them cook for about 5 minutes (until the water has evaporated) and they have caramelized just a bit – they are delicious!

  2. Anna

    I love to make a carrot slaw – almost like a coleslaw, except instead of shredding cabbage, I shred the carrots then mix them with a slaw dressing. It is so sweet from the carrots.

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