VII: Carrot

Carrots are a surprisingly late arrival to our dinner plates.

Carrots. Photo by Armando Arauz / Unsplash
Photo by Armando Arauz / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is septidi, the 7th of Vendémiaire, Year CCXXXI. Today we celebrate la carotte, the world's most recognizable root.

If you eat nothing but carrots and you have fair skin pigmentation, you'll turn yellow. It's a harmless phenomenon called carotenemia that is only noteworthy because it resembles jaundice and sometimes pops up in babies who are overdoing the Gerber. If you want to really dress as a Minion for Halloween, I suppose you could hit the carrots (and only the carrots) now...

It's always a little bit harder when a super common animal or vegetable comes along. This newsletter has given itself a challenge to be packed with interesting facts, and some objects are so well-known that there's nothing unusual to say about them!

So, as we all know, carrots are a white or pale yellow root vegetable that...


Right, of course, sometimes the Asiatic branch of carrots are bred to be mauve or purple, thank you for pointing that out, but the carrots from the Persian steppes that we're most familiar with are a ghostly...

Okay, okay, let's talk about where the orange came from. And I'm not going to repeat the myth that the Dutch invented it (we'll get to that). Nope, turns out, if you like orange carrots, then you like animal feed.