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Purple Cosmic Carrots
Inventory, 24 ct : 0
This item was last sold on : 04/02/20
Purple Cosmic carrots are elongated roots, averaging 17 to 20 centimeters in length, and have a slender, conical to cylindrical shape, tapering to a pointed tip on the non-stem end. The roots are also connected to long, crisp stems averaging 35 to 38 centimeters in length, with frilly, green leaves. The roots are generally straight, and the skin is semi-smooth and firm, covered in many fine root hairs and ridges. The pigmented carrots also have a dark purple hue towards the stem end, transitioning into a lighter purple shade towards the tip. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp, dense, and aqueous, ranging in color from dark purple, orange, to yellow. Purple Cosmic carrots have a sweet, vegetal, and earthy flavor with subtle notes of spice.
Purple Cosmic carrots are available year-round.
Purple Cosmic carrots, botanically classified as Daucus carota, are a specialty, open-pollinated variety belonging to the Apiaceae family. The elongated, pigmented roots were created in the United States in 2005 and are descendants of the original purple carrot varieties native to Central Asia. Purple Cosmic carrots are considered a modern variety with improved flavors created to add diversity into the predominately orange carrot market. The crunchy roots are favored for their high anthocyanin content and have continued to increase in popularity at farmer’s markets across the United States. Purple Cosmic carrots are also frequently grown in home gardens as a novel, uniquely colored cultivar.
Purple Cosmic carrots are an excellent source of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that give the carrot its dark purple hue and are a fiber source to stimulate the digestive tract. The roots are also a good source of beta-carotene, a compound that is converted into vitamin A in the body to protect against vision loss and strengthen the immune system and contains lower amounts of vitamins C and E, zinc, iron, and calcium.
Purple Cosmic carrots are best suited for fresh applications as their multi-colored flesh and crisp consistency is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The flesh can be halved and served in pieces on appetizer plates with dips, chopped and tossed into green salads, or pressed into smoothies and morning juices. In addition to fresh applications, Purple Cosmic carrots can be utilized in cooked preparations such as roasting, sautéing, and steaming, and the flesh of the carrot remains purple after heating. The carrots can be chopped and roasted with other colored roots to create a rainbow medley, sliced and tossed into soups and stews, or coated in honey and baked for a sweet side dish. They can also be grated into fritters or stir-fried into rice and noodle-based dishes. Purple Cosmic carrots pair well with broccoli, bell pepper, potatoes, peas, aromatics such as garlic, onions, and ginger, herbs such as thyme, rosemary, dill, and oregano, and meats such as beef, pork, and poultry. The roots will keep 1-4 weeks when loosely stored in a plastic bag with good air circulation in the refrigerator's crisper drawer.
Dr. Philipp Simon, carrot geneticist and creator of the Purple Cosmic carrot, has been breeding and researching carrots for over forty years at the USDA Agricultural Research Station in Madison, Wisconsin. In an effort to create new varieties with improved nutritional properties, flavor, and disease resistance, Simon and his team mapped and published the entire genetic code, also known as the genome, of the carrot in 2016 to provide a better framework for future carrot breeding. Simon hopes the mapping will encourage breeders to create new varieties of carrots in varying hues to help deconstruct the American consumer’s preconceived notions of colored carrots. Purple carrots are slowly becoming accepted as a nutritious variety among consumers at farmer's markets, and growers across the United States are working closely with geneticists to diversify the market by releasing multi-colored varieties with increased visual appeal and flavor.
Purple Cosmic carrots were developed by geneticist Dr. Philipp Simon at the USDA Agricultural Research Station in Madison, Wisconsin. Purple carrots are native to Central Asia and have been present since ancient times, but many original varieties had unpalatable flavors. Over time, geneticists such as Simon used those original varieties to research and study the purple carrot’s genome to create a better-flavored carrot. Purple Cosmic carrots were released to commercial markets in 2005, and today the variety is primarily sold through select growers at farmer’s markets and specialty grocers. Purple Cosmic carrots are also a popular home garden variety sold through online seed catalogs.
Recipes that include Purple Cosmic Carrots. One is easiest, three is harder.