Varieties of carrots come in orange, yellow, purple and white. The texture is firm and crunchy, and sweet in flavor.
Carrots are available thorough out the year.
(summer into the fall months in New England)
Carrots are classified as a root vegetable. Though carrots are a biennial plant that reaches full maturity in their second year, growers treat them as annuals, plucking them from the ground before their growing cycle is complete. If left in the ground, the plant would flower and run to seed the following spring.
Carrots are full of vitamin A. They contain carotenoids and flavonoids, two important compounds that provide antioxidant benefits and helps the body defense against cancer.
Carrots can be eaten raw, boiled, fried, roasted and grilled.
Both the wild and the cultivated carrots belong to the species Daucus carota. Carrots originated over 5000 years ago in present-day Afghanistan. They were first cultivated as a purple root. Natural hybrids and mutants were developed and crossed with wild and cultivated varieties. Orange carrots first appeared in Europe in the 1700's, quickly displacing other varieties and dominating the market.