08 January 2009

How did I not know this about carrots?

That that used to be purple? Who knew?

To quote:
In Roman times carrots were purple or white. By the 10th century purple carrots were grown in Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern Iran. Purple, white and yellow carrots were imported to southern Europe in the 14th century. Black, red and white carrots were also grown.

Orange roots, containing the pigment carotene, were not noted until the 16th century in Holland. This only came about thanks to patriotic Dutch growers who bred the vegetable to grow in the colours of the House of Orange. Experts believe Dutch breeders used a yellow mutant seed from North Africa to develop the orange variety and then stuck to it through breeding.
Having been in Amsterdam during both the World and European Cups, I can tell you that the Dutch love them some orange, I just didn't know it extended to the selective breeding of vegetables.

You know, I'm not a huge fan of carrots, but these look awesome:

1 comment:

carrotmuseum said...

Black carrots hitting the seed suppliers again! truly the full rainbow of six colours now available. Read more in the World Carrot Museum