Purple carrots: origins and history, benefits and recipes, where to find them and how to grow them in the garden. All information on purple carrots.
A carrot is not necessarily only orange! Among the less common varieties we point out thepurple carrotswith purple skin and pulp and dark purple carrots with red pulp.
Purple carrots: history and origins
The history of the purple carrot always amazes: today, the carrot is orange par excellence but… it was once purple and not very common in vegetable gardens. The purple carrot was more used as a medicinal remedy and less prone to culinaari uses.
The plant, Daucus Carota, has its origins in Asia, when it was imported to Europe it was mainly used for the preparation of infusions, poultices and balms.
Only later, it was discovered that carrots of many shapes and shades of color could be obtained: the color changed, it is said, according to the type of soil and temperatures. The carrot boom came in Holland, when the carrot was selectedOf Orange, it is no coincidence that the color of this country is orange. The orange carrot soon became popular in cooking and thepurple carrotit was forgotten and put aside everywhere except in Italy.
In our country there is a typical variety: thepurple carrotof Polignano a Mare, Slow Food presidium and Apulian typicality. Equally popular are the Purple Haze purple carrot, a yellowish inside and purple outside carrot and the Deep Purple carrots, with a deep purple flesh and skin.
Purple carrots: benefits and properties
Thepurple carrots, as well as other varieties of peel and dark pulp vegetables, are rich in a natural dye famous for its antioxidant action, it is anthocyanins.
Thanks to the anthocyanin content, the purple carrots they have interesting nutritional properties: in our body, anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, vasoprotective and support properties of the stomach and intestinal mucosa. It is for these properties that in the past thepurple carrotit was used for medicinal rather than culinary purposes.
Purple carrot: varieties
ThereDeep Purple it is a very particular variety of carrot. It has cylindrical roots, almost pointed and with dimensions that see a diameter of 3 cm and a length of 20 - 25 cm. Thepurple carrotsDeep Purple are presented, externally, with a dark purple color while the pulp is presented with a lighter purple. How to cook purple carrots? Deep Purples are better used in the kitchen raw or grated.
The Purple Haze variety has tapered roots, with a diameter of 2-3 cm and an average length of 18-20 cm. It's not aboutpurple carrotsbut with a dark purple color and red-orange-yellow pulp.
The purple carrot of Polignano a Mare is mainly produced in the hamlet of San Vito (Bari). It is sown between the end of August and the beginning of September, while it can only be found on the stalls of local markets between December and March.
Purple carrots: where to find them
In the fruit and vegetable stalls of the most well-stocked supermarkets, as well as at local markets or by turning to small producers. It is not uncommon to see small farms or farmers with direct sales licenses growing the different varieties of purple carrots.
Purple carrots: seeds
Where to buy iseeds of purple carrots to grow in the garden? You can contact your trusted agricultural consortium or aim for mail order sales.
The seeds are actually not very easy to find. Among the proposals of the network we point out a kit from Amazon (you can see the details on this page: Plant Theater).
The cultivation kit includes forgotten varieties to grow in your garden and among these, there are also purple carrots. In detail, the seed kit contains:
- A sachet of purple carrot seeds
- A sachet of yellow zucchini seeds
- A sachet of striped tomato seeds
- A sachet of red Brussels sprouts seeds
- A sachet of multicolored ribbed chard seeds
The kit costs 16.99 euros and includes not only purple carrot seeds and other vegetables as listed, also peat for sowing (in compact form, you will need to hydrate it) and biodegradable pots (jars) that can be buried in the hole of the vegetable garden. In practice, once they have grown, you can plant the purple carrot plants with the whole jar because being biodegradable it will degrade in the soil enriching it within a few months.
This kit represents the right opportunity to enrich your garden with ancient and now forgotten varieties. If you buy the kit and you have no idea how to grow vegetables that are not very common in the garden such as Brussels sprouts, we invite you to read our dedicated guide:grow Brussels sprouts.
If you don't want to buy a kit to have a few purple carrot seeds, on “this Amazon page” there is a sachet of the Spanish purple carrot variety Forrajera Morada (pictured above), also very old. The Forrajera Morada variety is Mediterranean, it can be grown all year round (in winter it will take longer to grow but it is resistant to freezing). The purple carrot has the distinction of being very sweet, more sweet than the orange carrot, and the carrot of the Forrajera variety is particularly sweet.
How to cultivate purple carrots
Who intends to cultivate thepurple carrotsit will have to respect the same cultural techniques seen for the classic orange carrots. Let's just remember that thepurple carrots, like the other varieties. All the instructions are contained in our guide articleGrow carrots.
If you like to grow little-known and "original" varieties in the home garden, we invite you to read our in-depth articles dedicated to dark vegetables and tubers:
- Black Tomatoes
- Purple Potatoes and Blue Potatoes
Purple carrots: recipes and how to cook them
For the particular sweetness it is recommended to use raw purple carrot. The purple carrot has a milder flavor than the orange carrot. Purple carrots can be used in all recipes, replacing the orange carrot, even to make Camille desserts. Those who want to dare can use them in the recipe for carrot meatballs.