Who knew a snowman’s nose could taste so good?
In a fantasy Academy Awards ceremony for produce, the carrot would be nominated as Best Supporting Vegetable. While not always taking the starring role, carrots play nice with almost everyone. Consider some of the carrot’s more famous roles: one leg in the tripod supporting much of French cuisine, mirepoix; most people’s first choice on your typical raw veggie platter; favorite food of America’s favorite bunny; and the odd-yet-perfect root vegetable that works well in a cake.
The benefits of eating carrots are well publicized. The poster child for beta-carotene, carrots provide nutrients that protect eyesight as you age. The polyacetylenes in carrots are thought to help inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the colon. And they are packed with vitamin A, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals.
Carrots are distinctively sweet, with a floral aroma. They are a widely versatile ingredient, capable of flavoring everything from stews to cakes, and work well raw or cooked in most any fashion. Carrots are available in many colors, but the well known orange carrot is by far the most popular.
Baby carrots, the carrot’s pipsqueak cousins, can either be just that — baby carrots — or more often “baby-cut” carrots, which are fully grown, sometimes imperfect carrots cut down and rounded off to shape.
Carrot greens should be removed (they’re edible though!). Unwashed carrots store well, for several months, in a cool (38-40 degrees), moist place.