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A carrot is a root vegetable.



Carrots are long and tapered in shape, with a bunch of feathery greens at the top. Modern carrots are typically orange in color, though purple, red, yellow, white, and variegated varieties all exist. Their flesh is dense, hard, and crisp, and it has high sweetness for a vegetable. The younger the carrot, the smaller it is and the more tender its flesh and skin are—however, note that commercial "baby carrots" available washed in supermarkets are actually regular carrots that have been mechanically shaped into stubs. Older carrots benefit from peeling as the skin gets a lot more fibrous and hairy with age, but the skin is still technically edible.[1]

Interestingly, carrots have a peculiar feature where if they are held at 50°C (122°F) for half an hour, the flesh sticks together better and doesn't get as mushy when cooked later at higher temperature.[2]

Selection and storage


When choosing carrots, go for those that have a nice color and firm, crisp flesh. If you can see their tops, you want them to look fresh.[3] Keep carrots in a cool place such as a root cellar or refrigerated—they will keep for about one month in the fridge.[1]

Carrots are often eaten raw, whole or shaved into salads for color, and are often cooked in soups and stews.[4] Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix.[5] They are particularly well-suited to roasting, which concentrates their sweetness. The greens are not often eaten, but they are technically edible.[6] The sweetness of carrot flesh has led to their use in a variety of sweet preparations, such as carrot cake.



Parsnips make an overall acceptable substitute for carrots, though they lack the classic pigmentation and are not as sweet. If you're looking for another sweet, orange vegetable, to roast or use in a puréed soup, butternut squash and orange sweet potato work well.




  1. a b Thaler, Maximus; Safferstein, Dayna (2014-09). A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything. Quarry Books. ISBN 978-1-59253-928-4. {{cite book}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. Potter, Jeff (2010-07-20). Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". ISBN 978-1-4493-9587-2.
  3. Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  4. Ruhlman, Michael (2008). The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen. Black Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-86395-143-2.
  5. Gisslen, Wayne (2015-03-12). Essentials of Professional Cooking, 2nd Edition. Wiley Global Education. ISBN 978-1-119-03072-0.
  6. Farrimond, Stuart (2017-09-19). The Science of Cooking: Every question answered to perfect your cooking. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-4654-7079-9.