When we first told people about the purple carrots we had planted the reaction was brilliant. People were genuinely really shocked at the idea of carrots in other colours. I suppose that it’s not really that surprising as all you really see in the supermarkets are orange carrots. That got me wondering why.
Orange carrots, why no purple?
Carrots were first “domesticated” in central Asia and were most commonly purple in colour, but you could also find yellow, white and even red varieties throughout the world. The carrot we know, the orange carrot, is rumoured to have been developed in the 17th century in The Netherlands.
The story is that it had been a genetic mutation of other carrots but became popular as a symbol of Dutch independence against the Spanish and as a representation of William 1st of Orange who had led them to that independence.
Review of this years carrot varieties
We have grown 4 types of carrots this year, standard orange carrots –
Resistafly F1 – Carrot fly resistant
Purple Haze F1 – Purple carrots
Yellow Stone f1 – Yellow carrots
Paris Market 5 – Globe carrots
These carrots are the first on the left in the picture, the orange variety.
As you can guess the big deal about these is the fact that they have been bred to be resistant to carrot fly. This wasn’t a massive thing for us as we use raised beds (and carrot fly apparently can’t go to high of the ground) but we gave them a try to compare.
To be honest, they taste great but they are quite slow growers so unless you are pulling these as spring baby carrots, you will be waiting till the end of september for your crop.
Purple Haze f1
These are the purple carrots in the picture.
Now I’ll be honest, these are a favourite of mine purely because they are purple but they do actually taste great as well, very sweet – especially when they are young.
They have the added bonus that the purple outside and orange inside make salads etc look great.
They are one of the fasted growing carrots this year, taking off way quicker than the others and so we don’t have a whole lot left from our batch.
Yellow Stone F1
Third from the left on the picture – yellow.
Again these ones are quite quick growing and produce a nice thick carrot. Taste again is good and these carrots keep their sweetness even when they are larger.
Paris Market 5 – Globes
These little globe shaped carrots were a bit of a fun experiment this year, we just thought we’d try something different.
They are not the fastest growing, probably on par with the orange carrots. Also a bit limited in their use due to their size and shape.
They taste ok but not as good as the purple or yellow.
So what fun can you have with coloured carrots?
Well even just a small amount in the batch made our carrot soup bright purple. You can’t really see it in the picture but trust me, BRIGHT PURPLE.