Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The Weirdest Thing I Learned Reading Fiction

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Quick! Imagine a carrot.

What colour is it?

I’m going to guess you all picked the colour orange.

One of the weirdest and most interesting things I’ve learned from a book is that carrots weren’t originally orange. Up until the late seventeenth century, they were nearly always purple. You might see a rare one that was white or yellow, but those colours weren’t encouraged by carrot farms.

A bowl full of orange, yellow, green, and purple carrots sliced into round pieces. How did that change? Some Dutch growers began cross-breeding different types of carrots in the late 1600s. It’s thought that they probably crossed purple carrots with white ones to eventually create the orange carrots we all know.

They also selectively bred this crop to make carrots bigger, juicer, and sweeter than the ones that people ate in previous generations.

I wasn’t able to find the book that mentioned this, but this article has more information for anyone who is interested.

38 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The Weirdest Thing I Learned Reading Fiction

  1. I learned about carrots and the same basic thing about bananas from a cooking show, but still. We learned stuff. And it’s cool stuff. I kinda want to try a purple carrot. 🙂 Great post.

  2. I mean, I’ve seen purple and white carrots in the grocery (usually as part of a specialty bundle with all three colors) but I didn’t know that purple was the original color. That’s neat! And now you have me wondering about purple potatoes.

  3. Have to agree that is pretty cool and not something I knew. Thanks for the piece of trivia and info. You’d think with years in Ag in school I’d have learned that with some of the other things I have learned.

  4. I have seen, and eaten, the other colored carrots, when my mom is feeling fancy, but I had no idea that orange was not the prominent color. That’s an interesting little fun fact you taught me today

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