Orange Carrot Royal Jewel
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Before the Dutch stepped in carrots were usually purple and white. Purple carrots weren't too appetizing and tended to turn whole meals purplish-brown. The plant itself has been heralded as a medicine for thousands of years. Carrot seeds have even been used as a form of herbal contraception.
Over time the carrot spread from the Middle East to all of Europe. Around the 16th/17th century, Dutch farmers decided to crossbreed rare red and yellow carrots to create a less bitter variety. This breed had an excess of beta-carotene, therefore making it bright orange. This orange result was somewhat intended by the Dutch growers. They knowingly tried to create a Royal vegetable in honor of their king William the Silent of Orange during the fight for independence form Spain.
The orange carrot soon became the most popular and replaced most of the purple and red varieties. Orange carrots lack the amount of lycopene in red ones, the amount of antioxidant power in purple ones. The mutant yellow carrot from North Africa used to create the orange variety contains many essential vitamins for sight.
Bunnies would rather eat beets over carrots.
relatedFAQ: Carrots and Turning Orange.
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