Purple carrots

Posted on August 6, 2012

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I had only recently read that carrots were originally purple. Say what? Who decided to suddenly dye all our carrots orange? For the sake of clarity, I think they meant to say that purple carrots were originally more common than what it is today. The orange variety just became the one selectively bred for domestic use for its size, taste and texture. Wanting to dig a little deeper, I turned to trusty wikipedia and I’m informed that carrots certainly come in many colours, ranging from white through to a deep purple.

So when I saw the display of rich plum coloured carrots at my green grocer’s recently, I just had to buy it. At $2.99/kg, it’s about double the price of the regular orange carrots ($1.59/kg). But how pretty is it?

Taste wise, I can’t say it was too different from your garden variety orange carrots. But then again, I did douse them in honey and baked them! I can say though that I now understand why the orange variety became the household ‘standard’; the purple carrot leaches colour. Once peeled, my hands were stained purple from  handling them. It also stained anything it touched, so that the potatoes on my dinner plate also took on a purple hue. So be sure to stick to the regular orange carrot if you’re intending to use it in stock. But otherwise, if you see some around, try some purple carrot to colour up your meal.

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