View Full Version : Purple carrots
07-21-2006, 01:12 AM
Anyone ever seen these? I got them yesterday in my organic produce box. For some reason, the farm where I get my produce from is big into weird varieties of carrots. They often put what they call "yellow baby carrots" in the box and say they are the pride of their farm. I honestly can't see how. I don't know anyone who likes them. They are indeed yellow, very skinny and usually very short. Next to impossible to peel. But you do have to peel them in order to eat them raw because the outside is so tough you could break a tooth on it trying to get a bite off of one. There's also the issue of them being very dirty and having these tough little rooty protrustions off of them. Not sure what you'd call them. Like little hairs but thicker. The only way I found them to be edible was to use a very few of them thinly sliced in a cooked vegetable soup. You just sort of didn't notice them then. But I honestly can't find a redeeming quality to them other than the fact that they are small and cute. Luckily the farm allows me to make three substitutions per week. So when I see those listed, I take them right off my order.
The purple carrots are very interesting! They range in size anywhere from a inch long to maybe 6 inches long. The outside of the carrot is indeed a beautiful dark purple. However there is a distinct "peel" to them that is rather tough. You can bite through the purple peel but it's hard to do. In the raw state anyway. Right under that peel is an orange layer and the center is yellow. I wasn't overly impressed with the taste. Wasn't a bad taste, but more like a "nothing" taste and really the toughness of the peel was the main problem for me. The purple part actually began to peel off a bit as I bit into them. So the peel would come off easily, but then they wouldn't be purple!
Their regular kinda long, kinda thin, plain orange carrots with the green tops attached taste a lot better to me! But they are very beautiful! I should think they'd be lovely cut into sticks on a raw veggie platter or sliced and used as a garnish.
07-21-2006, 01:19 AM
there are so very many varieties of fruits and vegetables, that we never have the opportunity to see, it amazes me.
When we grew cauliflower, we grew purple cauliflower, not because it was weird, but because it just grows that way, it was the most beautiful shade of pale lavendar in the middle and white on the outside, really gorgeous.
we've grown so many different types of tomatoes and other things, it's amazing how many different types of coconuts there are, and bananas and apples, and well, there are just thousands of fruits and veggies out there,
but the purple carrots sound so pretty, will have to get some to plant next year.
07-21-2006, 02:00 AM
Orange carrots were actually bred on a lark hundreds of years ago in Europe by a country with orange as the national colour. How they became so mainstream I'll never know. Before that carrots were purple, yellow, black, green, white etc.
Now we're doing mono orange carrots. I'm so glad to hear purple is making a come back!!! Everyeone quick, ask for different coloured heritage carrots at your local grocery!
07-21-2006, 07:04 AM
My mom grew purple carrots in her garden this year :) I like them, but you're right, the skin is kinda hard. I was just shocked that the outside is purple, but the inside is orange :D I expected it to be purple.
07-21-2006, 10:14 AM
I have been buying these up at the farmers market - the farmers call them "heirloom carrots" like heirloom tomatoes. I like the idea that the variety has been around the world for so many years - they look almost prehistoric, don't they?
You should try juicing them! you won't have to peel them or worry about the hairs that way, just chop into chunks and go. I find their juice is sweeter than your plain orange carrots and they are much more aromatic. I juice them with a couple golden delicious apples, golden beets and celery. It is so delicious in the morning!
07-21-2006, 11:23 AM
Up until now I had only ever seen the orange carrots. I had no idea they came in different colors. I do sometimes grow odd or unusual veggies just for the looks of them. Not necessarily because I like to eat them.
I can't wait to see my tomatoes this year. I couldn't get the varieties I normally buy. The ones that I know grow well in this area. Actually I could have bought them had I waited, but I was eager to get them planted so I chose from the plants that came in the first shipment at a local store. Those look to be big tomatoes and one plant has taken on the shape of heirloom tomatoes.
But the biggest surprise is the one plant that came up in my Walla Walla onions. Right in the middle of them. I didn't even have any tomatoes planted in that box last year. However, I didn't pull up my plants last season until this year. I'd left them out there with some rotting tomatoes on the vine. But there had been a plant in the box next to it. So something has reseeded. My friend said unless the variety is an heirloom (it wasn't), the new plant I get could be anything because they don't always reprouduce the same kind of tomato. Not sure if this is true or not. At any rate the plant is huge! I didn't stake it because my intent was to put peppers in that box. But when I saw the tomato plant, I decided to leave it and see what happened. The diamater of the stems on the vines are twice the size of the plants I bought. It's loaded with flowers and so far only a few small tomatoes.
07-21-2006, 12:46 PM
Orange carrots were actually bred on a lark hundreds of years ago in Europe by a country with orange as the national colour.
That would be the Netherlands. Here's a bit more detail:
"The Western carrot emerged in the Netherlands in the 15th or 16th century, its orange colour making it popular in those countries as an emblem of the House of Orange and the struggle for Dutch independence. The orange colour results from abundant carotenes in these cultivars. While orange carrots are nearly ubiquitous in the West, other colours do exist, including white, yellow, red, and purple. These other colours of carrot are raised primarily as novelty crops."
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