This is a list of 13 things I actually already knew about carrots. And it probably just tells you that I am interested in weird stuff. I was at work a while back and thought 'what shall I do this lunchtime? Go for a stroll, buy a sandwich? No - I'll look up the history of the carrot'.
1) Carrots didn't start out orange - naturally white/purply red (might as well start with my favourite fact!)
2) They were bred orange when the Dutch who were world renowned as leaders in horticulture in the 18th Century - much as they are now - wanted to develop a nationally coloured vegetable. And they did just what you might guess - they used a red carrot and a yellow variety to breed an orange one!
3) In Britain a year or two ago they tried bringing back the original purple/red carrots. However it seems this was not a success. I never actually saw the purple ones in the shops or I would have bought some.
4) Carrots may be pictured in an ancient Egyptian painting (which you can see if you click on number 13's link) - but it might be a parsnip so don't get too excited.
5) Carrots are closely related to parsnips/parsley and HEMLOCK - which you don't want to be eating.
6) Maryam might be keen to know that it was Morrocan and Arabian travellers who brought a variety of coloured carrot seeds to Europe. So without them the Dutch could never have nationalised the veg.
7) I have grown carrots in my garden this year - they came up lovely but I was a little impatient and dug them up early.
8) Carrots don't help you see in the dark. This one was thought up by the Government here during the war as a ploy to make kids eat more veg.
9) Carrots through history have been used medicinally for a variety of things. eg. the leaves were used to put on cancerous tumours though I'm not sure this would have done much.
10) Carrots were thought (can't remember but think this was in Teheran) to be an aphrodisiac and to increase a man's sperm count.
11) 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson grew carrots and was a keen botanist.
12) There are 35 calories in a medium carrot.
13) When I told my friends on an evening out that I'd been reading about the history of the carrot they laughed.. and laughed. When I tried to pass on the facts & information - they laughed some more. This is the link to an online museum which tells you anything you could need to know about carrots and their history.
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