Native to Afghanistan, carrots were known to both the Greeks and Romans. In fact, the Greeks used carrots as a love medicine - making men more ardent and women more yielding. Early carrot colors were purple, white, yellow, red and black. The popular orange variety was bred in Holland in 16th-century by patriotic growers in tribute to the king, William I of Orange. The name of the carrot originates from the Indo-European root ker- /meaning horn/ due to its horn-like shape.


The carrot is one of the most versatile root vegetables - a result of its sweet flavor. It may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby foods. Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot puddings, an old English dish thought to have originated in the early 19th century.

In India carrots are used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spicy rice or daal dishes. The most popular variation in north India is the Gaajar Kaa Halwaa carrot dessert, which has carrots grated and cooked in milk until the whole mixture is solid, after which nuts and butter are added.

Ever since the late 1980s, baby carrots or mini-carrots (carrots that have been peeled and cut into uniform cylinders) have been a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets.

Carrot juice is also widely marketed as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with fruits and other vegetables.

Nutritional value:

The carrot gets its characteristic and bright orange color from β-carotene, which is metabolized into vitamin A in humans. Carrots are also rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals. That old urban legend about carrots helping you see in the dark isn't entirely false. Lack of vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding it back into the diet. This was a myth spread by the Royal Air Force in World War II, explaining how British gunners shot down German planes in pitch darkness, to cover up the discovery of radar.

Ethnomedically, the roots are used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, and tonsillitis or constipation.

Source: Wikipedia