Originally, carrots were purple

At the end of the 16th century, Dutch growers started to do some research and testing, to improve the quality of the vegetables. They took mutant strains of purple carrots as well as yellow and white ones and started experimenting. Gradually, after numerous generations, they got to the sweet variety we see today, which was also more resistant and better tasting than their purple rivals.

“A town in Southern France, Arausio, founded by the Romans in 35 BC, was classically pronounced “Aurenja.” Predictably, that became “orange” once the French conflated naranj with or. When a man named William the Silent from Nassau inherited the rule in Orange in 1544, he became William of Orange. He led the Dutch in Revolt against the Spanish in the late 1500s, and they eventually won their independence in the form of the Dutch Republic.”

It is also believed that the fact that the Netherlands official color was also orange helped promote this variety, but that’s less important.

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The Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University further continued this selection and created carrots with purple skin and orange flesh, rich in cancer-preventing substances and with a high concentration of nutrients. Basically, through careful selective breeding, you can get a whole variety of carrot colors, but even if many people know this, thinking about a purple carrot still boggles the mind.

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