But purple, yellow, red, and white varieties persisted in Asia and the Middle East. Syria and North Africa. There was rarely any mention of colour or taste which would have helped the modern researcher to distinguish the two plant relatives. Before this, pretty much all carrots were purple with mutated versions occasionally popping up including yellow and white carrots.
As observed by the presence of carrot seed at prehistoric human habitations 4000 to 5000 years ago Newiler, 1931 , it is speculated that wild carrot seed was used medicinally or as a spice Andrews, 1949 ; Brothwell and Brothwell, 1969. Though the orange carrot does appear to date from the Netherlands in the sixteenth century, it is unlikely that honouring William of Orange had anything to do with it!
This could be, but it also might just be that the orange carrots that the Dutch developed were sweeter tasting and more fleshy than their purple counterparts, thus providing more food per plant and being better tasting. Our present cultivars seem to originate from long orange varieties developed there.
Things just get more mixed up from here. Morphological characteristics lead to a division of the cultivated carrot Daucus carota subsp. History Part 4 - 1500 to 1700 - Evolution and Improvement in the Renaissance.
In fact, orange carrots may be a superfood of sorts when it comes to taste. The yellow roots were often preferred because they did no t release anthocyanins during cooking. World War Two page here Research and development continues to take place to produce disease resistant varieties, together with research into other uses for the root such a bio fuel and its use in construction as an alternative to fibre glass and carbon fibre.
Pastinaca sativa var. It is likely these carrots derived from the Eastern group by selection among hybrid progenies of yellow Eastern carrots, white carrots and wild subspecies grown in the Mediterranean. And that's how they got into the cooler at a supermarket chain near you.
Root types of these early carrots were categorized as yellow or purple and a flavour difference coincided with the colour. This may seem odd given that the average carrot is about six inches long and bright orange while a parsnip is off white and can grow 3 feet, but this distinction was much less obvious before early modern plant breeders got to work.
Purple and red. Pretty soon we might have a full-fledged food fad on our hands. They are of course from the same family. Temple drawings from Egypt in 2000 BC show a purple plant, which some Egyptologists believe to be a purple carrot. Antioxidants may prevent cell damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Premium Profile. It was about the carrot.