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Nugget of Knowledge: History of carrots

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For centuries, almost all carrots were yellow, white or purple

(WYTV) – Did you know that carrots used to be a different color rather than orange?

For centuries, almost all carrots were yellow, white or purple.

Why they changed is political.

In the 17th century, Dutch farmers started to grow orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange, who led the fight for Dutch indepence.

The color stuck. Orange is the royal color of the Netherlands. Most of the yellow, white and purple carrots disappeared.

Whatever the origins, the orange Dutch carrot is the ancestor of something called the “Horn Carrot,” first bred in the Netherlands town of Hoorn. All of our modern, western carrots descended from this variety.

There is a World Carrot Museum. It’s actually a website run in England, and it denies the Dutch angle. It says it’s just a legend, but the museum does confirm that the horn carrot is the orange ancestor.

One fact about taste: a recent study showed that children said foods tasted better if their favorite cartoon character appeared on the package containing the food, with one exception. Carrots.

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