The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus, Etymology: Middle French carotte, from Late Latin carÅta, from Greek karÅton, originally from the Indo-European root ker- (horn), due to its horn-like shape) is a root vegetable, usually orange, purple, red, white, or yellow in colour, with 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 Î²-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 humoungously famous 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 specially worth mentioning factor here is that the variety of carrot found in north India is rare everywhere else except perhaps in Central Asia and other contiguous regions, and is now been growingly familiar in larger cosmopolitan cities in South India, but is not known in for example US. 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 halloween pumpkins. Also, the red (north Indian) carrot is sweet and gentle enough that it can be eaten even by small children straight out of ground or from a seller after only a wash in the former case and often not even that in latter, and does not need as much sugar adden to make it palatable as the other variety.Carrot flowers
Ever since the late 1980s, baby carrots or mini-carrots (carrots that have been peeled and cut into uniform cylinders) have been a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets.
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 Î²-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 Britonsâ€”looking to improve their night vision during the blackoutsâ€”to grow and eat the vegetable.
Ethnomedically, the roots are used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, and tonsillitis or constipation.
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,