Carrot facts! Yes, this list is about those brightly colored veggies that some of us just love to eat while some others are staunch haters. But before you join into the second group, read these facts. May be you will just start loving them. More importantly, it hardly matters whether you love it or hate it, this list of facts about carrots will help you with your school homework. So, buckle up…
Carrot Facts: 1-5 | Fruit or Vegetable, Color, Origin
1. [highlight]Is carrot a fruit or a vegetable? It is a vegetable[/highlight]. It is actually a root vegetable. It cannot be a fruit because it doesn’t carry seeds. However, European Union Jam Directive classifies carrot as a fruit. That doesn’t change anything though. It is still a vegetable.
2. If you think carrots are only orange in color, you are grossly mistaken. [highlight]There are other colors of carrots as well including yellow, white, red and purple[/highlight].
3. Wild carrot called the Daucus carota is the one from which carrots were domesticated. Daucus carota is native to southwestern Asia and Europe.
4. [highlight]Molecular genetic studies and written history – both trace back the origin of the domestic carrot to a single source in Central Asia[/highlight]. It is believed that modern day carrot’s wild ancestors first originated somewhere in Persia. Those regions currently fall under Afghanistan and Iran.
5. It is also believed that over many centuries a subspecies (that occurred naturally) of the wild carrot was selectively bred for minimization of its woody core, ramping up its sweetness and reducing its bitterness.
Carrot Facts: 6-10 | History of carrots
6. Historical evidences show that the [highlight]first cultivation of carrot was not for the roots but for their aromatic seeds and leaves[/highlight]. As a matter of fact, carrot seeds as old as 2000 to 3000 BCE have been recovered from Southern Germany and Switzerland.
7. Cumin, dill, anise, fennel, coriander, cilantro and parsley, which are carrot’s close relatives, are still being cultivated for their seeds.
8. The first written mention of carrot comes from 1st century CE when the Romans actually ate the vegetable. However, back in those days, carrot went by the name pastinaca among the Romans. However, there is a slight problem. The pastinaca could have mean either parsnip or the carrot.
9. Eastern Roman Juliana Anicia Codex [which was basically 1st century CE’s medicines and herbs’ pharmacopoeia known as De Materia Medica, written by Dioscorides – a Greek physician] – a Constantinopolitan copy of 6th century CE has the description and depiction of the plant. That copy contains 3 different types of carrots mentioned. It is also mentioned there that the root can be eaten by cooking it.
10. In 8th century, Moors introduced the plant in Spain. Moors were Muslims of Middle Ages who were inhabitants of Malta, Sicily, Iberian Peninsula and Maghreb.