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Varieties of Carrots

Carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family, which includes parsnips, fennel, caraway, cumin and dill. Plants in this family produce umbrella-like flower clusters from which their name is derived.

Carrot roots have a crunchy texture and a sweet, minty, aromatic taste, while the greens are fresh tasting and slightly bitter.

There are over 100 different varieties of Carrots varying in size and color. Carrots can be as short as two inches in length or as long as three feet, ranging in diameter from - inch to over 2- inches. While we usually think of Carrots as being bright orange in color, there are varieties that come in a host of other colors including white, yellow, red, and purple. Some of the specialty Carrots include:

COMMON ORANGE CARROTS

Long, orange and cylindrical, this is the variety of Carrots you most commonly find in your local market and is the one featured in the photographs and in the Carrot recipe. They can vary greatly in length and diameter.

BABY CARROTS

Neither the “baby Carrots” found at farmer’s markets nor the bags of “baby Carrots” in the supermarkets are actually baby Carrots. The variety found at farmer’s markets and specialty shops are a variety of Carrot that is fully-grown but very small in size. Those found at supermarkets are pieces of regular Carrots that are sculpted into their miniature size.

BETA III

This variety has five times more beta-carotene than regular Carrots.

MAROON CARROTS

Sweeter than regular Carrots, this variety has a maroon exterior and a bright orange interior.

WHITE CARROTS

This variety is mildly flavored, thin and white in color with less beta-carotene than orange Carrots.


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