Did you know that carrots originated in modern-day Iran and Afghanistan?
However, the vegetable was first domesticated in Asia in the 10th century, while its existence can be traced back to 5000 years ago.
Over the centuries, traders traveling through the region picked, carried, and sold carrot seeds via caravans to neighboring Arabian, African and Asian lands, who all accepted carrots immediately and started crossbreeding and creating new types of the famous root.
Modern yellow carrot appeared in the Netherlands during the 17th century as a tribute to the ruling House of Orange. After years of selective breeding, Dutch yellow carrot was engineered to be without bitterness, increased sweetness, and minimal wooden core. This carrot type named ”Daucus carota” quickly became popular across entire Europe.
Although it was already known by the Greeks and the Romans, it was not until the 17th century that the first orange carrots appeared. Nowadays its culture has spread all over the world. The main producing country is China, followed by the United States and Russia.
Originally, the carrot was a white root, like its wild relative.
In the Middle Ages, the monks cultivated it in the monasteries for pharmaceutical use, since the texture was still woody, which made it quite impossible to eat.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the world production of carrots reaches 18,443,000 tons, while the European Union production reaches 6,000,000 tons.
The list of European producers is headed by France with 670,000 tons, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands. The main producing country in the world is China, followed by the United States.