PRATIE PLACE

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Carrots

Caution: unsubstantiated factoids.

Carrots are native to Afghanistan. Seventh century carrots were yellow on the inside and purple on the outside. Other early carrots were red, black, yellow, white, and purple.

In Greece, carrot love-potions were quaffed to "make men more ardent and women more yielding." The Roman emperor Caligula forced the whole Roman Senate to eat carrots so he could see them "in rut like wild beasts."

In the 16th-17th century, carrots were bred to their modern color (via patriotic Dutch growers for the House of Orange) and elongated shape (via the French).

Elizabethans used feathery carrot stalks to decorate their hair, hats, dresses, and coats. The English brought carrots to America and were growing them in in New England by the mid-17th century.

Why do people eat carrots? the uninformed may ask. Little people eat carrots because big people make them. ... Many children have noted that while their parents force carrots on them, the parents themselves take their nourishment other ways - such as from olives soaked in martinis. As a result, many children quit eating carrots as soon as they are big enough to drink martinis. (Stephen Grover, Dec 1971, WSJ)

Since their natural shrimp diet would be far too expensive, flamingos in zoos are fed carrots to keep them from turning white.

Another in a long line of ideas I thought were dumb, baby carrots were once actually young. Now the same name is used now for whittled-down hunks of big carrots. This is "mutton dressed as lamb." I am very cheap, so it amazes me I'm willing to pay so much for these carrots. I must really hate peeling.

Don't you hate how full of water the "baby carrot" bags are? The carrot hunks get all slimy. That can't be good for us.

The British Royal Air Force hid its use of radar during World War II by bragging that the accuracy of their night sorties resulted from the excellent night vision of pilots being fed enormous quantities of carrots.

The Carrot Museum has examples of fine art depicting carrots (including a 17 foot outdoor "Soft Sculpture Carrot"), a link to another carrot museum -- and to the Jeff Chiplis collection of over 10,000 carrot items -- and many more factiods like these:
  • Unlike most other vegetables, carrots are more nutritious and contain more antioxicants when eaten lightly cooked.

  • The Longest Carrot recorded was almost seventeen feet long. The heaviest was almost 19 pounds.
Strange Foreign Sayings About Carrots

Paul Cezanne: "The day is coming when a single carrot freshly observed will set off a revolution."

Irish Proverb: "Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot."

Yiddish Proverb: "Only in dreams are carrots as big as bears."


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5 Comments:

At 2:01 AM, Blogger Shaula Evans said...

This is too spectacular. :)

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger DBK said...

I love raw carrots. I eat at least one a day. And carrot juice is the best of the vegetable juices.

 
At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fabulous site deserves full praise and more publicity

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger megwoo said...

I too, once thought baby carrots were of a different breed or at least younger versions of regular carrots. I was sorely disappointed when I learned the truth. This is the best use of "mutton dressed as lamb" ever.

 
At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi this is John, curator of the World Carrot Museum.

Slight correction - most "baby" carrots are cut down version of bigger ones. There are miniature breeds sold in the shops,you can usually tell by the price!!

 

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