The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus, Etymology: Middle French carotte, from Late Latin carōta, from Greek καρότον karōton, originally from the Indo-European root ker- (horn), due to its horn-like shape) is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, or yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh. The edible part of a carrot is a taproot. It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. It has been bred for its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody-textured edible taproot, but is still the same species.
It is a biennial plant which grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer, while building up the stout taproot, which stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to flower in the second year. The flowering stem grows to about 1 metre (3 ft) tall, with an umbel of white flowers that produce a fruit called a mericarp by botanists, which is a type of schizocarp.
Carrots can be eaten in a variety of ways. Raw carrots should be thoroughly washed: raw vegetables may carry harmful bacteria or parasites. Only 3% of the β-carotene in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to 39% by pulping, cooking and adding cooking oil. Alternatively they may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby and pet foods. A well known dish is carrots julienne. Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot puddings, an old English dish thought to have originated in the early 1800s. The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are rarely eaten by humans, as they are mildly toxic. Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths.
In India carrots are used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spicy rice or daal dishes, and the most popular variation in north India is the Gaajar Kaa Halwaa carrot dessert, which has carrots grated and cooked in milk until the whole thing is solid and then added with nuts and butter. Carrot salads are usually made with grated carrots in western parts with a seasoning of mustard seeds and green chillies popped in hot oil, while adding carrots to rice usually is in julienne shape.
The variety of carrot found in north India is rare everywhere except in Central Asia and other contiguous regions, and is now growing in popularity in larger cosmopolitan cities in South India. The north Indian carrot is pink-red comparable to plum or raspberry or deep red apple in colour (without a touch of yellow or blue) while most other carrot varieties in world are from orange to yellow in colour, comparable to hallowe'en pumpkins.
Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with fruits and other vegetables.
The carrot gets its characteristic and bright orange colour from β-carotene, which is metabolised into vitamin A in humans when bile salts are present in the intestines. Massive overconsumption of carrots can cause carotenosis, a benign condition in which the skin turns orange. Carrots are also rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals.
Lack of Vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding Vitamin A back into the diet. An urban legend says eating large amounts of carrots will allow one to see in the dark. The legend developed from stories of British gunners in World War II who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. The legend arose during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots' carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies in engaging enemy planes, as well as the use of red light (which does not destroy night vision) in aircraft instruments. It reinforced existing German folklore and helped to encourage Britons—looking to improve their night vision during the blackouts—to grow and eat the vegetable.
The wild ancestors of the carrot are likely to have come from Afghanistan, which remains the centre of diversity of D. carota, the wild carrot. Selective breeding over the centuries of a naturally-occurring subspecies of the wild carrot, Daucus carota subsp. sativus reducing bitterness, increasing sweetness and minimizing the woody core, has produced the familiar garden vegetable.
In early use, carrots were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds, not their roots. Some relatives of the carrot are still grown for these, such as parsley, fennel, dill and cumin. The first mention of the root in classical sources is in the 1st century CE. The modern carrot appears to have been introduced to Europe in the 8-10th centuries. The 12th c. Arab Andalusian agriculturist, Ibn al-'Awwam, describes both red and yellow carrots; Simeon Seth also mentions both colours in the 11th century. Orange-coloured carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 17th century. These, the modern carrots, were intended by the antiquary John Aubrey (1626-1697) when he noted in his memoranda "Carrots were first sown at Beckington in Somersetshire Some very old Man there [in 1668] did remember their first bringing hither."
In addition to wild carrot, these alternative (mostly historical) names are recorded for Daucus carota: Bee's-nest, Bee's-nest plant, Bird's-nest, Bird's-nest plant, Bird's-nest root, Carota, Carotte (French), Carrot, Common carrot, Crow's-nest, Daucon, Dawke, Devil's-plague, Fiddle, Gallicam, Garden carrot, Gelbe Rübe (German), Gingidium, Hill-trot, Laceflower, Mirrot, Möhre (German), Parsnip (misapplied), Queen Anne's lace, Rantipole, Staphylinos, and Zanahoria.
Carrot cultivars can be grouped into two broad classes, eastern carrots and western carrots. More recently, a number of novelty cultivars have been bred for particular characteristics.
The city of Holtville, California promotes itself as "Carrot Capital of the World", and holds an annual festival devoted entirely to the carrot.
Eastern carrots were domesticated in Central Asia, probably in modern-day Afghanistan in the 10th century, or possibly earlier. Specimens of the eastern carrot that survive to the present day are commonly purple or yellow, and often have branched roots. The purple colour common in these carrots comes from anthocyanin pigments.
The western carrot emerged in the Netherlands in the 17th century, its orange colour making it popular in those countries as an emblem of the House of Orange and the struggle for Dutch independence. The orange colour results from abundant carotenes in these cultivars. While orange carrots are the norm in the West, other colours do exist, including white, yellow, red, and purple. These other colours of carrot are raised primarily as novelty crops.
The Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University has developed a purple-skinned, orange-fleshed carrot, the BetaSweet (also known as the Maroon Carrot), with substances to prevent cancer, which has recently entered very limited commercial distribution, through J&D Produce of Edinburg TX. This variety of carrot is also known to be high in β-carotene which is an essential nutrient. The high concentrations of this nutrient give the carrot its maroon shade.
Western carrot cultivars are commonly classified by their root shape:
While any carrot can be harvested before reaching its full size as a more tender "baby" carrot, some fast-maturing cultivars have been bred to produce smaller roots. The most extreme examples produce round roots about 2.5 centimetres (1 in) in diameter. These small cultivars are also more tolerant of heavy or stony soil than long-rooted cultivars such as 'Nantes' or 'Imperator'. The "baby carrots" sold ready-to-eat in supermarkets are, however, often not from a smaller cultivar of carrot, but are simply full-sized carrots that have been sliced and peeled to make carrot sticks of a uniform shape and size.
Food enthusiasts and researchers have developed other varieties of carrots through traditional breeding methods. Novelty carrots are also grown throughout Western Europe in flower pots and are noted for their distinctly minty flavour.
One particular variety lacks the usual orange pigment from carotenes, owing its white colour to a recessive gene for tocopherol (Vitamin E). Derived from Daucus carota L. and patented (US patent #6,437,222) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the variety is intended to supplement the dietary intake of Vitamin E.
CARROT. Wild carrot, Daucus carota, a member of the natural order Umbelliferae, grows wild in fields and on roadsides and sea-shores in Britain and the north temperate zone generally of the Old World. It is an annual and resembles the cultivated carrot, except in the root, which is thin and woody. It is the origin of the cultivated carrot, which can be developed from it in a few generations. M. Vilmorin succeeded in producing forms with thick fleshy roots and the biennial habit in four generations. In the cultivated carrot, during the first season of growth, the stem remains short and bears a rosette of graceful, long-stalked, branched leaves with deeply cut divisions and small, narrow ultimate segments. During this period the plant devotes its energies to storing food, chiefly sugar, in the so-called root, which consists of the upper part of the true root and the short portion of the stem between the root and the lowest leaves. A transverse section of the root shows a central core, generally yellow in colour, and an outer red or scarlet rind. The core represents the wood of an ordinary stem and the outer ring the soft outer tissue (bast and cortex). In the second season the terminal bud in the centre of the leaf-rosette grows at the expense of the stored nourishment and lengthens to form a furrowed, rather rough, branched stem, 2 or 3 ft. high, and bearing the flowers in a compound umbel. The umbel is characterized by the fact that the small leaves (bracts) which surround it, resemble the foliage leaves on a much reduced scale, and ultimately curve inwards, the whole inflorescence forming a nest-like structure. The flowers are small, the outer white, the central ones often pink or purplish. The fruit consists of two one-seeded portions, each portion bearing four rows of stiff spinous projections, which cause the fruits when dropped to cling together, and in a natural condition help to spread the seed by clinging to the fur of animals. On account of these projections the seeds cannot be sown evenly without previous rubbing with sand or dry ashes to separate them. As usual in the members of the order Umbelliferae, the wall of the fruit is penetrated lengthwise by canals containing a characteristic oil.
Carrots vary considerably in the length, shape and colour of their roots, and in the proportion of rind to core. The White Belgian, which gives the largest crops, has a very thick root which is white, becoming pale green above, where it projects above ground. For nutritive purposes it is inferior to the red varieties. The carrot delights in a deep sandy soil, which should be well drained and deeply trenched. The ground should be prepared and manured in autumn or winter. For the longrooted sorts the soil should be at least 3 ft. deep, but the Short Horn varieties may be grown in about 6 in. of good compost laid on the top of a less suitable soil. Peat earth may be usefully employed in lightening the soil. Good carrots of the larger sorts may be grown in unfavourable soils by making large holes 18 in. deep with a crowbar, and filling them up with sandy compost in which the seeds are to be sown. The main crop is sown at the end of March or beginning of April. After sowing, it is only necessary to thin the plants, and keep them clear of weeds. The roots are taken up in autumn and stored during winter in a cool shed or cellar.
| Daucus carota|
Carrots are a type of plant. Many different kinds exist. The Latin name of the plant is usually given as Daucus carota. Many people use it as a vegetable. The plant has an edible, orange root, and usually white flowers. Wild carrots grow naturally in Eurasia. Domesticated carrots are grown for food in many parts of the world.
Wilde wortel plant Daucus
Carrots of many
Carrots come in different colors
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