Finding Purple Carrots

I'm on an extended visit to Portland, Oregon, where I grew up, and as luck would have it I'm here for the start of the farmer's market season, when local produce growers set up stalls in parks and lots around town in a revival of traditional markets. It was in one of these, on the campus of Portland State University, that I found a stall selling purple carrots.

Purple CarrotsPurple Carrots

It was no surprise finding them, as so-called “heirloom” vegetables are all the rage in farmer's markets and gourmet groceries in the US. Some people still look on purple carrots as an oddity, but as I point out in the main article on carrots, this is really the natural color of the vegetable. The orange color everyone associates with carrots these days is the result of a genetic modification created in the sixteenth century as an odd sort of tribute to William of Orange.

I haven't had a chance to taste these, yet, so I don't know how the taste compares to the mutation we're all used to eating. If I'm here in the US long enough, I'm sure I'll find an excuse to give them a try.

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