03 Oct2009

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Hmmm, I am not too sure what I think about what must be a whole lot of gene-splicing, or carrot intermarrying, not to mention cross-specie fooling around necessary to get this array of carrot colors, but I LIKE them. I can see a stunning salad of carrots sliced thinly lengthwise on a mandoline. Or shredded and dressed with a vinaigrette. And what about a crudite platter with 5 different colors of carrots? Amazing. From deep purple to orange red, pale yellows and almost cream, the different types of carrots on offer at the Union Square Market were simply wonderful.

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I am not sure if the carrots retain their vibrant color when cooked, but if they do, there are a whole lot of other uses where their color would really brighten up a dish!

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So just when you thought all carrots should be orange…

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…you get these vivid purples and reds!

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And just as you are getting used to the wonderfully colored carrots, the next pile is made up of these oddly pudgy orange “carrot nuggets”.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. zerho says:

    Wow! what dazzling colors. Wish that kind of variety could be found here in the Philippines… I wonder though if they taste all the same or if the color affects taste.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 6:44 am

     
  2. zena says:

    I can just imagine a bowlful of thinly sliced/shaved, different-colored carrots in one bowl, different types of tomato wedges, and in the middle, steamed, different-colored eggplants sliced in a fan pattern. Then your choice of dressing. A baguette or two at the end of the table for people to break of a chunk to mop up excess dressing. Oh, and a bottle of white wine…

    Oct 3, 2009 | 8:11 am

     
  3. betty q. says:

    Whoa….I just harvested a whole kaboodle of those carrots. The packet…Rainbow carrots!. The orange, white and yellow retain the colors, MM. The purple ones, through and through the core called Purple Haze loses its vibrant purple a little bit when cooked. But there are purple ones that has just purple skin and orange flesh. The red ones called ATOMIC RED loses its vibrant red when cooked becoming sort of reddish-orangish!

    So, it is best eaten RAW if you want to reatin the color!

    Oct 3, 2009 | 8:14 am

     
  4. betty q. says:

    Zena….they taste exactly like carrots!

    Oct 3, 2009 | 8:14 am

     
  5. jean says:

    Nice spin on the traditional carrot salad: rainbow carrots! Should look pretty and taste yummy with crushed pineapple, raisins and mayonnaise dressing.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 9:06 am

     
  6. curlytwirlygirl says:

    Carrots, in the olden days were of different colors. Check out the site http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history.html yes, there’s a carrot museum.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 10:16 am

     
  7. kurzhaar says:

    The round carrots are probably “Paris Market” (= Parisien Markt, Tonde de Paris, etc.). Cute, taste like carrots. :) Try Jaune de Doubs for a bright yellow and very full-flavoured carrot.

    Regarding color/size/shape, you may be surprised about the genetic diversity. In tomatoes the diversity of fruit characteristics is due to a relatively small number of genes. If you are interested in the science, read a good summary at:
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2643388&blobtype=pdf
    And a different perspective on heirlooms at:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=case-against-heirloom-tomatoes (I don’t agree entirely with the author of this article, but he does bring up good points).

    I am a big fan of heirlooms for their flavour and interesting shape/colour variations, but when it comes down to it, it is more likely that good gardening practices and post-harvest treatment (NO chilling!) is equally important. Don’t knock hybrids, a good hybrid tomato is well worth growing as well, if perhaps with a less interesting “family history”.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 10:38 am

     
  8. izang says:

    bugs bunny would really enjoy these!

    Oct 3, 2009 | 11:10 am

     
  9. Ken Lovell says:

    All carrots were purple once upon a time. Orange ones were developed centuries ago using traditional breeding techniques. Not saying there hasn’t been some gene splicing jiggery-pokery with these ones of course but it ain’t necessarily so.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 11:18 am

     
  10. kurzhaar says:

    For accuracy’s sake, “gene splicing” has been going on for millenia without the assistance of humans. Naturally occurring horizontal gene transfer between different organisms (bacteria to bacteria, bacteria to plants, bacteria to insects, etc.) is well documented. Some insects appear to have had almost the entire genome of a bacterium incorporated into their chromosomes. Your own cells’ mitochondria are most likely an ancient bacterium incorporated into the cell. In plants, chloroplasts are likely an incorporated cyanobacterium.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 12:41 pm

     
  11. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver says:

    Actually, I believe carrots used to come in all sorts of colors naturally. Then, the Dutch decided to concentrate on the orange (their national color), and it took off, I guess. =)

    Oct 3, 2009 | 12:41 pm

     
  12. Mom-Friday says:

    what vibrant colors! I still can’t get over the white eggplants! hehe…

    Oct 3, 2009 | 1:50 pm

     
  13. Divina says:

    Great crops. I hope we have them there too.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 1:57 pm

     
  14. Gener says:

    In carrots, color really matters thought taste maybe quite thesame, they used to capture the taste-buds of guests in many countries when prepared intricately…chefs in many 5 star hotels are very fond of this….

    Oct 3, 2009 | 2:30 pm

     
  15. Marketfan says:

    we have the same range of colors in our camote, di ba? will terribly confuse toddlers who are just beginning to learn their colors…orange as in carrots, purple as in eggplants…be careful!

    Oct 3, 2009 | 2:57 pm

     
  16. Connie C says:

    Interesting posts on color and genetic splicing.
    Like your comment Marketfan. But what is the color of water?……..just being inane.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 7:06 pm

     
  17. teny says:

    Never knew there were so many different kinds. I guess Im just used with what is available commonly here locally. Thanks for the info.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 9:32 pm

     
  18. betty q. says:

    Doc….my boys call it SWAMP WATER!!!!!

    Oct 3, 2009 | 10:11 pm

     
  19. Mel Wood says:

    Nothing beats the original orange carrot in taste and texture. I have also planted the white and purple variety but did not really like them-they just don’t meet my expectations of what a real carrot should be:) The purple one loses some of its color when cooked and dominates the color of whatever dish you’re cooking, when eaten fresh, it’s a bit tougher than the orange one. Good thing about this purple carrot, the carrot rust fly (an insect) doesn’t seem to like it as much as it does the orange one.
    The white one naman, looks more like a raddish.

    Oct 4, 2009 | 7:47 am

     
  20. millet says:

    all these wonderful vegetables you’ve been featuring are so interesting and mind-boggling. can imagine how all these would look like on a salad bar!

    Oct 4, 2009 | 9:54 am

     
  21. betty q. says:

    Mel: when you plant carrots, plant along side the carrot row…onions or leeks or herbs…the carrot rust fly will leave your carrots alone! I can guarantee you that! For cauliflower, broccoli or any brassicas, celery is the guard plant of choice…Trust me on those. It really works!

    Oct 4, 2009 | 10:41 am

     
  22. consol says:

    Amazing array of colors, MM! I sooo love carrots! Must have been Bugs Bunny in another life … I chomp and chew on them while chopping them for a veggie dish or a salad … more end up in my mouth (and my son’s! He’s Bugs, too!) than in the dish itself hahaha

    Thanks for sharing.

    Oct 5, 2009 | 7:36 am

     
  23. Ajani says:

    I plan to plant some of these in my garden. The colors will spice up my stir fry.

    Aug 23, 2010 | 7:04 am

     
 

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