The modern carrot is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody-textured edible taproot. In fact, purple, yellow and red carrots were the only color varieties of carrots to be cultivated before the first orange colored carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 17th century.
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.
Availability may vary by variety and with weather conditions.
The tops should be cut off before storing in the refrigerator since they will cause the carrots to wilt prematurely as they pull moisture from the roots.
The tops are edible and should be used within a day.
Store them in the coolest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel, which will reduce the amount of condensation that is able to form.
Can be stored even longer in moist sand in a cool place.
Carrots should also be stored away from apples, pears, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas since it will cause them to become bitter.
Wash carrot roots and gently scrub them with a vegetable brush right before eating. Unless the carrots are old, thick or not grown organically, it is not necessary to peel them.
Shredded raw carrots and chopped carrot greens make great additions to salads.
Combine shredded carrots, beets and apples, and eat as a salad
Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot puddings, an old English dish
Carrots can also be used alone or with fruits in jam and preserves
Can be pickled or roasted
Best when lightly steamed.
Soak carrot sticks in hot water spiced with cayenne, coriander seeds and salt. Allow to cool, drain and serve