About Carrots

Things You Didn’t Know About Carrots

 

Whether you are talking about wild or domestic carrots, chances are this is one of your favorite vegetables. Belonging to the species daucus carota, you can find carrots all around the world, as they remain a star vegetable in many cuisines.

Carrots were first grown in Afghanistan

While carrots are a common vegetable throughout the world, the first cultivated carrot in recorded history is thought to have come from the area around Afghanistan around 900 AD.  

Crème de Lite, Long Orange and Scarlet Nantes are all types of carrots

Even though they are split into two categories, domestic and wild, there are more types of carrots than you have ever imagined. Long Oranges, tiny and stout Early Short Horns or their cousins the thin Half-Long Horns, the giant Jaune Obtuse du Doubs, fat Danvers, long and skinny Imperators, round Paris Markets and perfectly even Berlicums — just to name a few of the root shapes you can find.

Baby carrots aren’t a type of carrot

With all that talk about carrot varietals, we had to address the phenomenon of baby carrots. Turns out they are either immature carrots, hence their small size, or pieces of larger, thin carrots that are cut into pieces.

You can leave them in the ground all winter

While so many wimpy vegetables need to be plucked and dug up, the mighty carrot can freeze itself happily in the ground. “After the carrots have had a light frost you cover them with about a foot of leaf mulch, which acts like insulation to prevent the ground and the carrots from freezing solid,” says farmer Toby Fischer of Ro-Jo Farms in Bethany, Connecticut.

Carrots contain the richest sources of beta-carotene

You may wonder why you care about beta-carotene. Well, here’s the deal: This chemical is what gives fruits and vegetables a yellow-orange pigment that turns into vitamin A in our systems.

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