Purple Carrots - The Verdict


Once upon a time, carrots were NOT orange. Purple, red and white carrots abounded and were enjoyed by the bushel full for hundreds of years. Then they were imported to the Netherlands where new and exciting and better tasting lovely orange carrots were developed in earnest. Now orange is the most beloved of carrot colours, the darling of the umbelliferae and what most of us expect to see in the shoppes.

Now, about half a year ago I allowed carrots back into my life. I did this after being scarred by all the assorted ailments this vegetable has to offer. Who know forked roots could cause psychological whiplash of this severity? I got so sick of wasted space and forked roots I gave up and didn't even try to grow them for several years. It was fine but for every third Sunday when those lovely frothy green topped displays of carrot perfection were heaped at every corner at the farmers markets.
Impulsiveness saved the day and some hasty unplanned and unsupervised seed shopping saw three varieties of carrot in my little virtual basket. 'Danvers 126' (orange), 'Chantenay' (orange) and 'Dragon' (purple).
All did as well as the carrot root fly could let them, which was my own fault for not netting them or growing in raised beds - apparently carrot flies are natures D-student when it comes to flying- but what I appreciated was that they actually grew. Enough for us to eat! Grated into carrot-cupcakes (no, they did not come out purple), snipped and lovingly displayed in white china teacups for guests to take dainty swipes into thick dips, or just pulled up and dusted off. Sweet and slightly gritty right out of the dirt.

Did their purpleness make them any better? You betcha. Not taste-wise necessarily, but when it came to pure looks and novelty, the purple ones added a nice variety to the mix. Next year I'll try 'Dragon' again and perhaps the striking red 'Samurai' or aptly named 'Yellowstone'. Following New Years, 'Healthmaster' would probably be a good idea too.

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  1. I have to admit to being fairly unimpressed with most of the non-orange carrots I've ever eaten although the occasional purple one can be nice, especially if picked reasonably young. Asthetically though they're great aren't they? i also like the round ones for much the same reason.

  2. Oh yes, should have mentioned that none of them made it past fingerling stage before being snaffled, so they were pretty safe from becoming woody or bitter. Round ones sounds nice too! Clickty click. Add to basket.


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