|Purple Carrots in a local supermarket chain Sydney by Mrs James|
We are so conditioned to the fact that carrots are orange; or are they? Did you know that the original carrot was actually purple? Carrots belong to the species Daucus carota and wild carrot is quite different from the domestic carrot most of us use today. Carrots are said to have originated about 5000 years ago near Afganistan, as either a purple or orange variety. The Dutch have been credited with developing the sweeter and soft orange carrot over years of horticulture experimentation.
The image above is a packet of purple carrots from the Three brothers property in Tasmania. They state "Carrots originated in ancient Persia, then spread slowly across the Middle East, Africa and western Europe. Carrots were originally yellow, white, red and purple until Dutch growers bred an orange variety in the 17th century – it was said to honour William of Orange."
Some recipes to try (original orange and purple juice-high in antioxidants!) from the Tasmanian growers three brothers website.
|Purple Spuds and Kale grown in Blue Mountains by Viviene Tuckerman|
I do wonder how they sourced the original varietal seeds? Have purple carrots been growing in other regions and so continued to exist? If they were phased out, were original seeds found? How? Where? Anyone know or can shed some light on the redevelopment of purple carrots?
On the recommendation of Jess Melkman, a fellow Sydney educator I am hoping to purchase the Edible History of Humanity, for our department over the holidays.