Carrots and Carrot Ale

May 2, 2014 by

Written by Phin Upham

The carrot is what is known as an “old world” vegetable. It can trace its origins back to Afghanistan, but it is now found all over the world. The plant is most related to dill, celery and parsley, with a tiny and acrid root.

The modern carrot took a long time to evolve from its early form. Though traces of carrot seeds were found in Switzerland, it is hard to pinpoint the precise moment when the carrot became an important part of human diets. We do know that the Babylonians grew it in the royal gardens throughout the 8th century BC, but it was not grown as a vegetable. They used it as an aromatic, most likely because of the leaves and seeds that give off a pleasant scent.

This seems likely considering that Romans and Greeks showed no evidence of enjoying roots. The modern carrot first appeared in the Middle East during the Arab expansion. Writers of the period describe the carrot in terms that would be familiar to us today, but the first visual confirmation of the modern carrot occurred in the 17th century, where the orange vegetable was depicted clearly in a Dutch painting.

The English introduced carrots to the New World when the colonists settled there. There is evidence they grew carrots in Jamestown. In 1629, there are published references to a “bigger and sweeter” carrot being grown in Massachusetts.

There is also a recipe for carrot ale, which is made of the juices from boiled carrots. Once the carrot juice has cooled, simply add yeast and barley as you would with any regular beer. Supposedly, the creation is quite refreshing.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham

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