white carrots!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Captain Reech
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:47 pm
Location: Derby

Re: white carrots!

Postby Captain Reech » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:11 pm

I use these guys,
http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/p ... carrot.htm

As you can see, quite a selection of speciality carrots!

The White Satin are nice and crunchy, the 'Purple Haze' are Elenna's favourite, very sweet and so much colour comes out that you can use them for dyeing!


"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
Edmund Burke(1729 – 1797)
Proof that being "Conservative" wasn't always a bad thing.....

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: white carrots!

Postby Fox » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:17 pm

Do you have any evidence for carrots (of any colour) used as an edible vegetable in the 14thC/15thC?

I've read that in this period they were inedible, but it's not clear to me when the transition occurs.



User avatar
Brother Ranulf
Post Centurion
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Canterbury

Re: white carrots!

Postby Brother Ranulf » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:03 pm

There has been a great deal of discussion elsewhere on that point - the problem seems to be that medieval writers used the term for "parsnip" to mean either parsnip or carrot, so it is difficult to be sure exactly what they mean. Old English used the same word for both, while medieval writers had two distinct Latin terms, but seem to have used them randomly.

We know that in 795 AD, Charlemagne issued the edict "Capitulare de villis vel curtis imperii" or "Capitulare de villis", which states:

"We desire that they have in the garden all the herbs namely, the lily, roses, fenugreek, costmary, sage, rue, southernwood, cucumbers, pole beans, cumin, rosemary, caraway, chick pea, squill, iris, arum, anise, coloquinth, chicory, animi, laserwort, lettuce, black cumin, garden rocket, nasturtium, burdock, pennyroyal, alexander, parsley, celery, lovage, sabine tree, dill, fennel, endive, dittany, black mustard, savory, curly mint, water mint, horse mint, tansy, catnip, feverfew, poppy, beet sugar, marshmallows, high mallows, carrots, parsnips, oraches, amaranths, kohlrabis, cabbages, onions, chives, leeks, radishes, shallots, garlics, madder, artichokes or fulling thistles, big beans, field peas, coriander, chervil, capper spurge, clary." [here the two terms for carrot and parsnip are clearly distinct].

Ninth and tenth century finds in Yorvik show evidence of carrots, parsnips and turnips. By the 12th century, English herbals included descriptions of herba pastinaca, accompanied by illustrations of orange carrots, with a text that gives an idea of the taste together with medicinal applications (such as toothache). By 1350 it is known from archaeological evidence that a variety of vegetables, both grown in gardens and gathered in the wild in the British Isles were being consumed. Vegetables known from Jorvík (modern York) and Dublin include carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery, spinach, wild celery, cabbage, radishes, fava beans and peas.

So the Franks were growing and chomping on carrots in the 8th century - after that the story is slightly foggy, but on balance I would opt for carrots of some kind (wild or cultivated) throughout the medieval period.


Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: white carrots!

Postby Fox » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:08 pm

Thank you, all very helpful; but do you know why some historians say that carrots were only wild and inedible?



User avatar
Brother Ranulf
Post Centurion
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Canterbury

Re: white carrots!

Postby Brother Ranulf » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:25 pm

Wild carrots are native to the UK and are edible but only when young, becoming very woody as they mature. The domestic carrot is a genetic variant, not derived from the wild carrot but parallel to it.

I guess that some historians have failed to spot the confusion of terms (carrot versus parsnip) or simply haven't done enough research. There are some wonderful recipes involving carrots in the French Le Ménagier de Paris of 1393 and in the English Forme of Cury of about the same period, so it is difficult to support the idea that there were no carrots at all until the 15th century.


Brother Ranulf



"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

User avatar
Captain Reech
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:47 pm
Location: Derby

Re: white carrots!

Postby Captain Reech » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:39 pm

There's also the often stated claim that 'Your carrots are the wrong colour' when cooking orange carrots on the LH (One for the 're-enactorism' thread?) when, as Brother Ranulph has pointed out, there are illustrations of orange carrots in Europe as far back as the 12th Century. The theory that the orange carrot was developed in the low countries as a tribute to the Prince of Orange has also been discounted although the popularity of the 'modern' true breeding and heavy cropping strains we are now familiar with are derived from the carrots developed at this time. I'm begining to believe that the purple strains of carrot, often held up as the predeccesor of the modern orange varieties, are the incorrect one for England and Western Europe as these are derived from Eastern and Middle Eastern strains. All I can find suggests that carrots in Western Europe were normally yellow, white or pale orange. (This may explain the confusion with Parsnips as the two unrelated vegetables do look very similar in these colours.)


"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
Edmund Burke(1729 – 1797)
Proof that being "Conservative" wasn't always a bad thing.....

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: white carrots!

Postby Fox » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:20 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote:Old English used the same word for both, while medieval writers had two distinct Latin terms, but seem to have used them randomly.


Brother Ranulf wrote:There are some wonderful recipes involving carrots in the French Le Ménagier de Paris of 1393 and in the English Forme of Cury of about the same period, so it is difficult to support the idea that there were no carrots at all until the 15th century.


Presumably, I'm missing something.
How do you know that the recipes mean carrots, given axiom #1?



User avatar
Brother Ranulf
Post Centurion
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Canterbury

Re: white carrots!

Postby Brother Ranulf » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:38 pm

Sorry for the confusion, I should have clarified but was cautious about rambling on too long.

In the Parisian book, the roots are described as red, which rules out parsnips - they are sold by the basketload, each costing one blanc (equivalent to about six English pence) and about half the price of a chicken. The term used is garroites, not a word that occurs in Anglo-Norman French.

The recipe in A Forme of Cury mentions "pasternak of rafens . . .", which distinguishes it from standard pasternak, thought to usually refer to parsnips.


Brother Ranulf



"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: white carrots!

Postby Fox » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:51 pm

Excellent. Thank you.

I would now feel more confident in repeating your assetion that "it is difficult to support the idea that there were no carrots at all until the 15th century".



User avatar
Grymm
Post Centurion
Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:18 pm
Location: The Chilterns

Re: white carrots!

Postby Grymm » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:39 am



Futuaris nisi irrisus ridebis.

FionaDowson
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:00 pm

Re: white carrots!

Postby FionaDowson » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:43 pm

Seeds for white and purple carrots are available from a company called Real Seeds. They're grown in the garden at West Stow Saxon village but not together or they hybridise and you end up with orange carrots. I gather it's easy to seed save



FionaDowson
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:00 pm

Re: white carrots!

Postby FionaDowson » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:18 am

There's a company called Real Seeds who sell white and purple carrot seeds

Apparently you can dry carrots by putting them in a very low (as low as it will go) oven for between six and eight hours on a rack with the carrots not touching each other. I suspect this only preserves them for a few months not indefinitely



Williamlam
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:57 am

Re: white carrots!

Postby Williamlam » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:35 am

Purple, orange, white, yellow,amber and cream are the different varieties of carrot.Until the 16th century carrots were generally purple or yellow before orange became the dominant color. The white and yellow ones are slightly sweeter and crunchier than the orange variety .




Return to “Food and Drink”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest