Check out this eye catching vegetable, a strikingly purple carrot going by the name of “Purple Sun”. Unlike some other varieties its purple pigment goes from skin to core meaning it’s jam packed with anthocyanins, these basically are what cause the antioxidant effect blue berries and black currents have. The pointed roots of this carrot with rounded shoulders are a great improvement on the older purple carrots, producing uniform roots with strong disease resistance, its purported to have a superb sweet flavour too. These can be harvested as baby carrots or grown onto full size.
March to June
Continue reading “Purple Cored Carrots”
In some regions of the world you can still naturally find white, yellow, red and purple carrots, this is the spectrum of colors carrots used to have but today in most countries carrots tend to be just orange. Why is that then?
Allegedly they are orange for entirely political reasons: in the 17th century, Dutch growers are thought to have cultivated orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange – who led the the struggle for Dutch independence – and the color stuck. A thousand years of yellow, white and purple carrot history, was wiped out in a generation.
Although some scholars doubt if orange carrots even existed prior to the 16th century, they now form the basis of most commercial cultivators around the world. Presumably crosses between Eastern (purple), Western (white, red) and perhaps wild carrots led to the formation of the orange rooted carrot sub species. Turkey is often cited as the original birthplace of the hybrids (or mutations) of the two groups.
Whatever the origins, the Long Orange Dutch carrot, first described in writing in 1721, is the forebear of the orange Horn carrot varieties so abundant nowadays. The Horn Carrot derives from the Netherlands town of Hoorn in the neighborhood of which it was presumably bred. All our modern, western carrots ultimately descend from these varieties.
In fact the different colour pigments have have different health benefits also, colours like Purple are reported to have more antioxidant effects (anthocyanins). I will post more on that soon but for now don’t just stick to what the supermarkets or veg shops are providing, create something new yourself.
So why not try something different next year, break the mold and get something you can’t just pick up somewhere. Brighten up that plate a bit and enjoy all the variety in colors on offer.
The Read Seed Catalogue may be somewhere to pick up those seeds (and support) but they are widely available now really.