Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Carrots on the Dark Side

The flash of color is reminiscent of a grape lollipop and immediately catches my attention against the stark, white snowscape of the Union Square Greenmarket.

At first … it strikes me as bizarre … as if the Joker has transformed all the carrots within Gotham City into a maniacal shade of lavender, simply to appease his twisted sense of humor.

Holy Bugs Bunny, Batman!! Purple carrots?? A perfect harbinger of the season of … Lent???

I’ve heard rumors of this exotic root vegetable, but never seen one in real life. I am compelled to buy a bunch. They are not only eye-catching, but smell deliciously sweet.

Later, I learn that everything old is new again. Purple-colored carrots are actually an ancient variety and first grew in the Middle and Far East. Carrots were, at one time, quite diverse, available in a variety of colors that included white, red, yellow, green and black. The pigment in purple carrots contain healthy antioxidants and have only recently come into vogue again, reportedly as part of a sinister plot to get children to eat more carrots.

It appears to be working.

While purple was once the carrot color of choice, the Dutch took over the show and introduced the orange color scheme in the 16th century. Diabolical, and political. Orange is the national color of the Dutch Royal Family.

In a curious twist, I soon discover that the purple pigment may only be a clever disguise as these vibrant carrots are really orange at the core.

As a Caped Culinary Crusader I am compelled to use my powers for good and turn these blushing roots into something super. So I whip up a crunchy carrot salad in no time – grate one or two carrots, add a handful of golden raisins, a spoonful of sugar, some mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. One bite and I am confident the good citizens of Gotham City have nothing to fear.

Take that, Joker! POW!!!!!

©2009 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Kathy said...

I've gotten these purple carrots from the CSA twice now along with green and purple cauliflower. They are sweet. I need to make a carrot salad too. For some reason, it's something I never even think about unless I'm at a cafeteria.

~~louise~~ said...

Purple Carrot Salad! I'm green with envy!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

How wonderful to find these purple carrots at the Greenmarket -- or, indeed, to be close enough to get to the Greenmarket at all. Our Providence winter farmers' market is fantastic, but I've not seen these carrots at any of the farm stands there.

Cakespy said...

I have never seen these before, but I think I am in LOVE! I adore carrots, and this looks like such a delicious way to serve them--looks like the carrot flavor still really comes across!

Anonymous said...

Moroccan carrots are sometimes a bit purple around the big end, suggesting that the process is reversible. Perhaps in every orange carrot lurks a purple heart.


Maryann said...

oh! Like a carrot slaw! How healthy and tasty. Good job masked crusader ;)

Annie said...

"Sinister plot to get kids to eat more carrots"...that's funny. It has certainly worked with my kids...from the new purple carrot juice flavors from First Juice to purple carrot salad my kids are fans and so am I!