Sunday, November 20, 2016

Yellow Carrots

The wild carrot, Daucus Carota, is native to Central Asia. Within the subspecies Daucus Carota sativus, two varieties are recognised: The Western carrot (variety sativus) and the Eastern carrot (variety atrorubens).

The Yellow carrot is an Eastern cultivar, domesticated in Central Asia as early as the 9th century.
It yields a sweeter flavor at maturity than other cultivars while also retaining healthy texture; ie: its tap-root is not woody or fiberous. They have a firm and crunchy texture and an earthy sweet flavor with notes of celery and parsley. They belong to the Umbelliferae family along with parsnips, fennel caraway, cumin and dill. Whilst classified as a root vegetable its midribs and greens are also edible and nutritious.

Yellow carrots are also one of the key ingredients in  the national dish of Uzbekistan Plov (dozens of variations of this dish but usually consists of chunks of mutton, shredded yellow carrot and rice fried in a cast iron or aluminium pot. Staple food for both every day and celebrations). and also popular in soups, stews, salads and are used as an ingredient in stocks. Uzbekistan at 1.6 million tonnes per year is the second largest producer of carrots in the world after China.

They are rich in pro-healthy antioxidants both of lipophylic (carotenoids) and hydrophilic (phenolic compounds) characters. Yellow carrots accumulate xanthophylls, pigments similar to beta-carotene that support good eye health. In addition they contain lutein, a pigment similar to beta-carotene that is absorbed as Vitamin A in the body.