The carrot – or “rüebli” in Switzerland – belongs to the umbellifer family and has an extraordinarily high carotene content. The healthy root gets its orange colour from beta-carotene. However, the carotene is not what gives the carrot its name. The name comes from “carota”. This means “burnt” in German, which is a reference to the colour of the root in ancient times: back then, the root was still purple.
In this blog article, we list three facts about the root vegetable carrot – and what is true about these statements.
Myth 1: “Rüebli git schöni Büebli” (Carrots make you beautiful)
What is the origin of this saying…? One possible explanation would be that the words “Rüebli” and “Büebli” (boy) rhyme very well and that some mother probably thought that this would encourage her children to eat more vegetables.
A somewhat more serious explanation of the origin of the content would be the colouring of the skin tone through eating many carrots. The beta-carotene in carrots is converted into vitamin A in the body. This is apparently supposed to give a beautiful complexion.
Of course, they do not really make you tanned, but the skin can take on a slightly darker hue through an “abundant” consumption of carrots. The carotene compounds are deposited in the outermost layer of the skin and give the skin a golden-reddish hue. Those who want to achieve this through carrots, however, will only see results after a few weeks of carrot consumption.
Myth 2: Carrots are beneficial for the eyes
Of all vegetables, carrots contain the most carotene (alpha and beta carotene). f all vegetables, carrots contain the most carotene (alpha and beta carotene). As mentioned above, this is converted into vitamin A in the body. This is also important for vision. Depending on the type of carrot, the carotene content varies between 5 and 30 milligrams per 100 grams of root vegetable.
Some advice: When preparing carrots, cook with a bit of fat, as the carotene is fat-soluble. This means that it can be absorbed much better if there is also a little fat in the food. The carotene is also better absorbed if the carrots are chopped small.
Myth 3: The carrot must be orange
The carrot was not always orange! Carrots were originally creamy white or purple or crimson. It was not until the 16th or 17th century that orange carrots appeared. This cultivation probably originated in the Netherlands.
- The first painting of orange carrots comes from the Netherlands and was painted in the 17th century.
- The first variety descriptions of orange carrots were made by Dutch farmers in the 18th century.
It could be that the Dutch bred orange carrots to pay tribute to the Dutch royal house of Orange-Nassau. According to legend, the farmers wanted to thank King William of Orange for the fight for independence against Spain by means of orange carrots. But please note: there is no historical evidence for these facts.
In any case, carrots in all colours taste great and the lesser-known varieties such as purple, yellow and white carrots are also becoming increasingly popular again among the masses. Carrots can be used, for example, to bake delicious carrot muffins or as a topping on pizza. They also taste great as a side dish – as garlic carrots, for instance.