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Purple graze?
September 19, 2003 4:39 AM   Subscribe

Purple carrots are to be sold by a UK supermarket. But it's orange carrots that are the gimmick. Most wild carrots are purple or white. Orange carrots were created by patriotic 16th Century Dutch farmers from a mutant variety, to match their national colour.
posted by TheophileEscargot (17 comments total)

 
Arrrrr???
posted by jpburns at 4:56 AM on September 19, 2003


That second link lists the little bullet point that "carrot juice was used to make butter a more appealing color in the middle ages," which is confusing if carrots were primarily purple or white at the time... unless people find grey an appealing color for butter.
posted by mdn at 5:03 AM on September 19, 2003


FARK's Interesting tag
posted by XiBe at 5:03 AM on September 19, 2003


Arrr, they make me one unpatched eye see better, but they leave me all a-scurvy. Yarrr. That be a treacherous orange root.
posted by stonerose at 5:08 AM on September 19, 2003


Any pirate worth their salt has a talking carrot on their shoulder, but I thought they were multi-coloured. No, wait...
posted by nthdegx at 5:12 AM on September 19, 2003


That Times Online link requires a registration and paid subscription to view.
posted by briank at 7:16 AM on September 19, 2003


I like how a 'mutant strain' introduced manually back then can take over the whole market. I'm still waiting for the purple 'organic' carrots to show up in my local store...
posted by Busithoth at 7:31 AM on September 19, 2003


Everything you want to know about the carrot can be found at the World Carrot Museum. At my farm, I grow white, purple, red, yellow, and even a few orange carrots.
posted by ewagoner at 7:52 AM on September 19, 2003


And for all this time I thought I was being strange refering to Sainsbury's Blue Carrot Parade, when I was really appearing to be highly inteligent. Or something.
posted by twine42 at 8:39 AM on September 19, 2003


ewagoner, I'd love to hear more about how you set up your farm, and the good, bad, and ugly of the economics and logistics of doing it.

My dream, or one of them at least, you'd be living.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:51 AM on September 19, 2003


I get purple organic carrots all the time from my friendly neighbourhood organic growers. Um . . . arr.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:57 AM on September 19, 2003


So, if you really want to have fun, next time ye go to the local organic hippie store, and you see orange carrots there, insist that the manager come over and explain to you why these genetically engineered monstrosities are allowed near the other pristine organic produce.

Arrrr, I've me a mind to go to that right now.
posted by majcher at 9:21 AM on September 19, 2003


Well, first, the carrots in that ananova picture hardly look purple. If they're hoping that color will make kids want to eat them... whatever. But does anyone know if the non-orange carrots have significantly less beta-carotene? Common sense would say yes... but then, common sense would also say "carrots have always been orange," so... just wondering.
posted by soyjoy at 9:26 AM on September 19, 2003


Russell Crowe buys the veggies for Sainsbury's?! When does the poor guy find time to make films?
posted by tabbycat at 9:45 AM on September 19, 2003


soyjoy: "The original goal was to breed a maroon carrot that would be a novelty in the home garden of Aggies," Pike said. Texas A&M's school colors are maroon and white. "But the goal changed as we began breeding for high beta carotene and anthocyanins which have cancer preventive properties and are found in BetaSweet carrots.
... BetaSweet carrots are maroon on the outside but orange on the inside."

posted by stonerose at 9:49 AM on September 19, 2003


Maroon, sure. Purple, no way. Thanks, stonerose.
posted by soyjoy at 10:19 AM on September 19, 2003


Fuck Sainsburys. Oooo, we're re-introducing old varieties & doing good things. Apart from totally shafting UK farming & screwing every small grocer out of business. Grrrr. Arrr. A-harrr.
posted by i_cola at 2:53 PM on September 19, 2003


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