The carrot is a ubiquitous staple in countless recipes in cuisines around the world. The edible carrot plant likely originated in Persia in the 10th century, though wild carrots are native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The modern, orange carrot was developed in the Netherlands in the 17th century through selective breeding. Before this, carrots were purple, yellow, or white.

Botanically, carrots are a root vegetable related to parsley, celery, fennel, and cilantro. They belong to the Apiaceae family. The most commonly grown variety for consumption is Daucus carota subsp. sativus. Carrots are biennial plants, meaning they take two years to mature and produce seeds. In the first year, carrot plants produce leaves and a taproot. In the second year, they produce flowers and seeds. The taproot is the edible orange carrot. It grows downward and can extend 1-3 feet into the soil.

Carrots are valued in cooking for their sweet, earthy flavour and versatility. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Carrots are often used in soups, stews, curries, salads, juices, and as a crunchy snack food. They pair well with diverse flavours like honey, thyme, coriander, cumin, garlic, and nutmeg. Carrots can be roasted, sautéed, boiled, steamed, or grated. They are a good source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Through breeding programs over centuries, the carrot has become sweeter and more nutritious than its wild ancestor. It is now one of the most commonly consumed vegetable crops worldwide.

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Per 100 g Daily Value
Calories 35 1%
Total fat 0.2 g 0.2%
Saturated fat 0 0%
Protein 0.8 g 1%
Sodium 56 mg 2%
Potassium 30 mg 0.9%
Cholesterol 0 0%
Carbohydrates 8 g 2%
Fibre 3 g 10%
Sugar 3 g 10%

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